Tuesday, December 29, 2020

911 Studios Reviews Curveball at the Crossroads


Good friend Adam from 911Studios reviewed and promoted my debut novel Curveball at the Crossroads.

Check out his video here:

Monday, December 21, 2020

Book Review of Curveball at the Crossroads by SportsChump

It always helps to have friends who write. My local friend Chris Humphreys of SportsChump.net volunteered to write a review of Curveball at the Crossroads. 

Although Chris vowed to be as unbiased as possible, I couldn't have asked for a better first review.

Check out what Chris had to say about Curveball at the Crossroads here:

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Curveball at the Crossroads Trailer

All good media needs a good trailer. A video that gets the audience pumped, gets them so excited they will line around the block to buy tickets.

This is definitely true for books. A good book trailer makes watchers into readers. It makes people want to find the book and voraciously read page after page. A good trailer is a hook that brings the reader into the boat, sits them down, makes them comfortable, brews them some nice tea, and puts the book in their hands.

Of course my new novel Curveball at the Crossroads needed a good trailer. So I recruited my friends Patro Mabili of WMNF 88.5 Tampa and sports radio personality Steve Carney to put some of the book to sound. I then worked with my friend Bill McCardle of Xtra Medium Productions out of Largo, Florida to put the the video together. Each of these guys were pros and did amazing work.

I must say this trailer is one of the best book trailers I have ever seen. It might be better than the trailer for Field of Dreams. I think so. After all, it is my story.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Curveball at the Crossroads available now

Buy Curveball at the Crossroads here.

I am super excited to announce that my first novel is now available for purchase. Entitled Curveball at the Crossroads, it is the story of a baseball player who makes a deal with the Devil after a career-ending injury. As he rises in success, he realizes eventually all deals come with a price. His deal with the Devil could cost him everything he cares about.

I worked on this book for over eight years. In 2012 and 2013, I wrote Weekly Book Updates on this site. It is interesting to go back and read my thoughts on the book from back then.

I am happy to say the initial rough draft is done. And when I say it is rough, it is really rough. As a matter of fact, it is so rough I am still deliberating on one of three different titles.

(That's ok, the way I see it, Return of the Jedi was Revenge of the Jedi until a year before release. And while filming, the movie's code name was Blue Harvest. So that's three names too.)

I can however tell you what the book is about. I don't want to spoil it, but it's about baseball, the blues, the devil, the crossroads, and a deal gone wrong. It has humor, sports action, and enough mojo to hopefully keep every reader interested. At least that's the goal.

My plan now is to sit on this draft for a little while, at least until I get back to the states, then begin the editing process. There is of course a lot of work that needs to get done before I turn this draft of 120 pages and over 62,000 words of plot into a cohesive story. But such is the creative process.

I'm definitely excited.

What became Curveball at the Crossroads was initially written in 2012-2013. I edited and re-wrote a lot of it in 2013. Then I put it aside for a few years while I went back to school. In 2017, I worked on it a little bit, sent it to publishers, and received several rejection letters.

In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, when everything was closed, no sports were on, and boredom ruled, I dusted off the latest draft and began final tinkering. When I finally wrote an ending I liked, I started looking for independent Florida publishers. After a month of submissions, I found Legacy Book Publishing from Winter Park, Florida. 

After finally receiving an email of interest from a publisher, I drove to Legacy Book Publishing on June 23rd, 2020. I signed a contract and we got to work on making my draft a real novel.

On November 4th, Curveball at the Crossroads was listed on the Legacy Book Publishing website. It will be on Amazon in December 2020. But why support a trillion dollar company when you dollars can support local writers and local publishers?

As always, thank you for reading and thank you for your support.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Attack Force (2006)

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Attack Force (2006) starring Steven Seagal. Seagal plays a special forces commander ....

Nope. You are not getting an attempt at a serious review. This movie doesnt deserve it. It is atrocious. According to reports, it was supposed to be an alien sci fi flick, but they turned it into a drug super serum flick halfway through. And the lead bad guy decides he is going to commit bioterrorism with the drug. So Seagal and his team raid a French village and start killing the residents who show effects of the super drug. Pretty sure that's a war crime.

None of the plot makes sense. The bad guys' eyes blink sideways because they are on "the drug", not because they were supposed to be aliens. The fight scenes are poorly shot. But worst of all, half of Seagal's lines are dubbed by another actor who sounds nothing like Seagal.

So so so bad.

Grade: 1 wtf star out of 5.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Watching the Unwatched

This video is the kind of videos I like to find - in the nine years it has been on youtube, it had only 2 total view. So just by watching once, I increased its views by 33%. If you watch, you could give it view number 4, and that would increase its total by 25%. And if 200 people watch, total views will go up 10,000%!

Makes you feel important, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Xanadu (1980)

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Xanadu (1980). An artist is inspired by roller skating muse to help open a dance club. Includes a cast of dancers and costumes and spandex.

I had no idea what to expect when i started this movie. I am still flabbergasted. Cheesy isn't the word. Its like if an entire class of theater and dance nerds got together to make a movie and turned no idea down.

Get Gene Kelly to dance? Yes.

Include an animation sequence? Sure.

Have baffling transition effects? Why not?

Load the movie with special effects? Absolutely!

No creative idea was too outlandish for this movie. I cant say this movie was bad, as it completely kept me entertained, even if the plot was flimsy. But don't watch it for the plot. Watch it for the experience.

Grade 4 dancing stars out of 5.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Into the Sun (2005)

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Into the Sun (2005) starring Steven Seagal with cameos by Eddie George (former NFL star) and William Atherton (Die Hard, Ghostbusters). Seagal plays a former CIA agent who gets involved in a Japanese gang war.

This movie wasn't bad. The shots of Japan were really cool. The editing was a bit choppy but the lights and colors of Japan were a nice touch. Seagal plays this by the numbers - playing by his own rules and kicking and punching his way through various bad guys. His love interest seemed forced as they tried to give his character depth. But does Seagal really need depth? Who watches Seagal to hear him say "I love you"? We want him to kick ass.

The sword fights were cool. I couldn't help but think they were influenced by the old samurai movies back in the day. Lots of squirting blood.

Maybe one day Seagal will leave the violent life and retire to a nice beach, with a loving family, and a white picket fence. But today isn't that day.

Grade: 3 samaurai stars out of 5.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Winging it in Key West

Last week, I finally visited Key West. Going to the Keys was on my to-do list for years. My first attempt was cancelled by Hurricane Irma in 2017. So after getting laid off of my job a few weeks ago and knowing no one was going to hire me in a week, I took off from Tampa to the Keys for a week of adventure. I had no plan, and only looked at a map the night before to figure out where I was going. 

Here is my running - or bar crawling - diary.

Monday - Day 0 

Attempted to leave but my car battery was dead. And a bird shit on me. Great start. Had to change my shirt and my battery.

Tuesday - Day 1

Left Tampa at nearly noon. An 8-hour drive highlighted by my ipod playing Moving Right Along by The Muppets amidst hours of hip hop and heavy metal. Arrived in Key West at nearly 9pm. Checked into my hotel and ate a good seafood dinner at Conch Republic Seafood Company.

Found a bar to watch the Rays game. Went back to the hotel and slept. 

Wednesday - Day 2 

Checked off the Hemmingway House. Not sure if there could be a modern equivalent of Hemmingway. Maybe Bert Kreischer if he was a writer? Hemmingway's writing tree house was cool. But they claim he wrote 500-700 words a day as if that was an accomplishment. I can write that shitty drunk. Which I guess is kinda what Hemmingway did.

(Writer's note: 1-2 pages per night was what i averaged writing my novel. But it took me eight years to edit it. But i digress.)

The Key West Lighthouse was cool. Talked to a nice old time historian at the top. He was full of information. Meeting him reminded me of a video game when you reach a location and engage with a talking character.

Ran into a friend and his wife at the Hemmingway Museum. Totally random. We decided to hang out for a bit. Went to the beach. I took a nap on a picnic table bench. That was fun. Relaxing.

Went to happy hour at Pepe's. Cheap tasty margaritas. Split with my friend. Went to the Waterfront Brewery and drank a few Crazy Lady Blond Ales. Very good local beer. Drove back to my hotel and took a siesta. Changed my t-shirt. Traveler's tip: pack two shirts per day. No need to be sweaty when you go drinking.

After an hour-long nap, I went to the Green Parrot. Awesome vibe. Any dive that plays a heavy dose of blues on the jukebox is A+ in my book. Drank a Green Parrot Session Ale. Good stuff. Made a joke about having too many Crazy Lady beers earlier that made the bartender chuckle. Or maybe he was glad to have business during a pandemic.

Quick aside number 1: Key West respected the mask rules, but seemed business as usual for the bars. They obviously had some tables and chairs removed, but everyone seemed really cool with the current rules and regulations needed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Wear your mask and respect people's space.

Walked down Duval St. Talked to a street musician about music for 30 minutes. Gave him $5 dollars for a good conversation. Also pitched my book, which he said he would totally buy. 

Went to Capt Tony's Saloon. Wow. Rarely has a bar reminded me more of Mos Eisley Space Port. I swear I saw Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes tuning in a corner. Unfortunately, shortly after I got there, they closed. So I guess I closed Capt Tony's first time I was there? Check that box.

Walking to find another bar, I saw a fight between two drunk male tourists arguing over a drunk girl. Cheers to them. Wandered with my Capt Tony's souvenir cup to Dirty Harry's for some live music. Grabbed a slice of pizza at Angelinas. Walked by my new musician friend and his friend, a bikini-clad woman named Kelly who had a bag of weed in her hand and complained about having to go to court in the morning on an assault charge she got fighting a local stripper. She seemed too fun for me. My music friend said she was a local legend. 

It was 1:30 AM and I called it a night. 

Thursday - Day 3 

Woke up with a blister on my foot. Would rather have a hangover. My flip flops betrayed me.

Had breakfast/lunch at Dante's. Was the first person at the bar. Talked local spots and sports with Todd the bartender. He had some cool stories about working in the Virgin Islands. A career slinging drinks throughout the Caribbean must be interesting. Drank fruity rum drinks until he suggested a Painkiller, a pineapple rum drink that was stronger and tastier than what I was drinking. 

Walked to the Truman Southern White House. Very cool. Enjoyed the history. Enjoyed the air conditioning. I asked them if they would have to cede their claim as Florida's only presidential museum if Mar-a-Largo ever opened up a presidential museum. The unprecedented questions abound. 

Visited the Key West Historical Museum. Most impressive. Very impressed and actually surprised by the long history of Key West. I didn't know any of the history. Walked to the Mallory Square market. Another place with great air conditioning. Reminded me of the inside markets of the Middle East with their individual vendors. Spoke with a metal artist about art and books  - to include my upcoming novel.

Quick aside number two: people in Key West seem very friendly, especially to another creative. Perhaps due to the inspiring nature of Key West and the abundance of art and creativity. Their kindness seems authentic. Not practiced-for-tourists-friendly or even Hooters girl-being-nice-for-tips-friendly, but genuinely nice.

Went to the Shipwreck Museum. Interesting. At this point, I was getting museumed out. Grabbed a beer at Alonzo's Oyster Bar. Nice view, but I wandered into the classy district. The yachts are bigger than my apartment and there were people there with collared shirts.

After a beer at Alonzo's, I went back to the hotel room for my daily siesta, t-shirt change, and to charge the phone. Keeping my phone charged was important. 

Following my nap, I went on the Key West Haunted Ghost tour. Definitely doomed and a good time. Especially during Halloween season. Some interestingly disturbing stories and well-decorated houses. But the irony of our ghost host wearing a face mask to protect us from covid-19 was not lost. Unless the corona virus is affecting the dead, the mask hurts the gimmick. I get it, it is necessary, and cheaper than a Plexiglas shield.

Following the tour of Key West undead spirits, I embarked on my final tour of Key West alcohol spirits. My first stop was Sloppy Joes. Good music. Good food. But a definite bachelorette party-safe vibe. I don't think I would see anyone with the death sentence on 12 systems hanging out there. At Sloppy Joes I had a good conversation with a bartender named Vicki and she personally recommended me at Joe's Tap Room. 

I dug the Tap Room. Fun alternative spot to the chaos and bacchanalia in Sloppy Joes. Made friends with Chris the bartender and a server named Holli. Holli invited me to Shots and Giggles after her shift. While walking there, she completed a Lebron James-esque, no-look, staying-in-stride toss of her beer bottle into a trash can. SportsCenter top 10 play.

Did I mention Key West allows drinking in the streets? I don't recommend this rule everywhere, but it is an awesome flex.

I drank at Shots and Giggles with Holli and other service industry folks until nearly 4am. They asked about my visit and I mentioned meeting the bikini-clad woman the night before. They knew exactly who I was talking about, confirmed her local infamy, and asked if she touched me. When I said no, they said good, but they wouldn't say why. I guess you don't want to be touched by Kelly the brawling, pot-smoking, bikini-clad local.

While drinking at Shots and Giggles I wondered if my expired parking pass was going get me ticketed. The people I was with promised I wouldn't be. When I eventually found my car, sure enough, there was no ticket. Believe the locals, is what I am saying.

Returned to my hotel room at 4:10am and promptly fell sleep. Another good night.

Friday - Day 4

Breakfast at IHOP. Omelettes and pancakes have a ton of calories and help cure hangovers.

Went to the East Martello Museum. Interesting military and cultural history. Saw Robert the Doll. When the bartender at Dante's told me about Robert, I thought it was a local gimmick - like seeing a dog faced boy or a shrunken head at a state fair freak show. Then other locals told me there experiences with him. Their stories were too convincing to be a hoax, unless the whole island is in on the joke. After hearing all these weird tales, I had to see Robert. As per custom, I asked if I could take his picture. When I asked that, the creepy piano music in his room paused for a moment, then continued. Or did I imagine that?

I then introduced Robert the Doll to my FSU travel gnome. I figured things can't get worse for FSU football, so I might as well ask for help from the spiritual realm. On the other hand, if things do get worse for FSU football, Robert did it.

Before leaving the East Martello Museum I had a great conversation with Kristina the guest services host. She mentioned she used to be a goth music host for USF radio in Tampa and used to hang out in Ybor City often. So we exchanged Ybor drinking stories.

On my way back to the mainland, stopped at Florida Keys Brewing Co. Funky, tied-dyed, little spot with good beer. After my beer, it was time to say goodbye to the Florida Keys. 

I like to think I accomplished a lot in my week in the Florida Keys. I am glad I went by myself. Going solo allowed me to choose my own adventure, and go where I wanted, when I wanted. I went down with no plan and completely winged it. I returned with new friends and new tales to tell. I will be back. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 8: The Great Milenko

Welcome to my latest review of the Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records's catalog. It has been a while since I reviewed an album here, so I am excited. Today's subject is The Great Milenko, released in 1997. This is ICP's fourth major release and the fourth Joker's Card album. The card in the album calls this ICP's "most controversial release yet". This should be fun.

Before I start, the album liner notes are particularly interesting. The thanks might be the longest thanks I have ever read in an album. There is also an interesting blurb on who is The Great Milenko. I am not sure I understand what they are talking about, but perhaps the album will make it clearer.


The album starts with a country-western vibe. People are playing a jukebox when a voice comes over the air warning about the Great Milenko. This is actually a very cool and informative introduction of the Carnival of Carnage. It tells the story of why the carnival exists and its purpose. It also describes how three Joker's Cards have already come and gone. This seems like an introduction for those who might not already be down. But it is a good reminder for those of us trying to figure out the clown philosophy. 

Great Milenko

This beat is nice. Violent J introduces The Great Milenko and who he is. A wizard of the dead. I wonder how Violent J and Shaggy brainstormed these ideas. Was it a team effort? Or did one just go along?

Hokus Pokus

Violent J opens this song with a song introducing that ICP is in town. Nice beat. I can see this song being nice in concert. Definitely upbeat. Even Shaggy's verse in this song is decent. I like the DJ scratch segment and breakdown. This song seems like the clowns are announcing the circus is back and led by the Great Milenko. Fun song.

Piggie Pie

This song starts in a prison. Woah, a rock-driven beat. Violent J and Shaggy rap about murdering rednecks and rich people. I am still not sure how the anti-redneck theme jives with the circus. Are the clowns avenging the wrongs committed by southern white culture? Is this is sort of a Django-type fantasy? Interesting mention of a rich man as the devil and Violent J killing the devil. Does this pit the devil versus the carnival?

This songs ends with an awkward suicidal phone call.

How Many Times

A slower beat. This seems like a reflective song. Violent J raps about some of the wrongs of the world, especially the awkward responses of people to wrongs and death. I like this song. It really has nothing to do with the circus or the clowns. It is just interesting observations about life from the perspective of ICP. A weird ending by a braggatocious wannab who gets called home by his mom. 

Southwest Voodoo

Wait, was that a shout-out to Da Lench Mob's "Guerrillas in tha Mist"? Nice. (Ed note: I paused it to find out that "Voodoo, running from my magic" is actually a X Clan line that Da Lench Mob sampled as well.) This song starts with a Shaggy 2 Dope verse. I think he is making things up here. The verse makes no sense. This song also sounds like it would be fun in concert, even if the lyrics are nonsense. This isn't the first time ICP has mentioned Southwest in a song. I am not sure where they are referring. Is it southwest Detroit? Southwest USA? I am confused. Again.

Halls of Illusion

Shaggy 2 Dope starts this song as well. I am not sure what he is talking about. Violent J follows with a verse taking revenge on wrong-doers. Interesting rock-riff chorus. One Shaggy's verses is about how seemingly perfect families and neighborhoods often hide dark secrets. 

Under the Moon

This is a weird song about an obsessed dude who kills for a girl. While he sits in prison he thinks about her. Does this song have anything to do with the carnival or the clowns? Dumb song.

What is a Juggalo?

I am not sure this song actually defines juggalos. But I think that is the point. The point is that the juggalos aren't defined by the song, but the fact that they dig ICP and are strong in their identity. Otherwise, if you take the song seriously, you aren't down with clown.

That's part of my confusion with ICP. If this song isn't supposed to be taken seriously, is the carnival? What about their hatred of rednecks?

House of Horrors

We are now back to the carnival theme. Shaggy 2 Dope opens with a verse welcoming people to the House of Horrors. This is actually a good verse, especially if you consider he is trying to scare people who entered the house unintentionally. Cool beat.  

Boogie Woogie Wu

Interesting intro. Definitely a horror movie vibe. Violent J is back with a scary verse about the Boogie Man. The Boogie Man scares or kills his victims.

The Neden Game

This song was on the Mutilation Mix album from the last review. It follows a TV game show format. Definitely creative. Not sure what this has to with the carnival or the clowns. 


The intro is of a preacher on TV. Then Violent J drops a verse from a crooked preacher's perspective. At least this song is consistent. While I understand the content, not sure what this perspective has to do with the carnival. Why are the clowns not taking revenge on the preacher? The breakdown "pass me the collection plate" is very cool.

Down with the Clown

I like the upbeat vibe of this song. I like the opening verse, in which ICP discuss how they have their niche and listeners will not seeing them selling out. The group is definitely sure of their identity here. And they are asking the fans to be sure of their fandom as well. This is much more of an affirmation song than What is a Juggalo. All ICP asks is that you be down with them. If you are down, then you are a juggalo.

Just Like That

Not sure what to think about this song. It sounds like filler. What does it have to do with the rest of the album? Eh.

Pass Me By 

Shaggy 2 Dope raps over a piano-driven beat about how he dies and joins the carnival. Interesting chorus. Violent J also drops a similar verse about dying and joining the carnival and being more happy in death with his juggalo brethren. This is almost a 2Pac-like reflection song. Curious way to end the album.

Overall, I liked this album. Some of the songs are filler. But some would be fun to see in concert. ICP shows a lot of growth on this album. They define themselves and what they believe in. They also invite others to be down with them, while still staying true to their underground roots. This album is not as underground sounding as their previous albums, but it is definitely not mainstream. ICP shows a bit more depth and maturity on this album, as much as they can. It is definitely a deeper album than their previous offerings.

Previous Reviews:

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 7: Mutilation Mix

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 6: Tunnel of Love

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 5: Riddle Box

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 4: Shaggy 2 Dope F*ck Off

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: RoboCop 3 (1993)

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Robocop 3 (1993) starring Bradley Whitford (Billy Madison), Rip Torn, and Jill Hennessey (Law & Order). Robocop joins an insurgency against a corporate-backed paramilitary group attempting to evict a Detroit neighborhood.

The movie is not as bad as people say. Yes, it is cheesy. Yes, it does not have the original Robocop. Yes, a 10 year old has super hacker powers.
But as a protest movie against big corporations and militarized police forces, it is a fun watch. Also features some good anti-Robocop fake news. And the normal police work with the neighborhood and take up arms against the militarized goons.
If that fails to get your attention, flying Robocop, samurai, and smart, attractive, early 90s Jill Hennessey to the rescue.

Grade: 3 Motor City stars out of 5.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Sandlot 2 (2005)

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Sandlot 2 (2005). This is a movie about a bunch of kids who play baseball and lose something important over a fence. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mr Myrtle, the old man with a big dog the kids are afraid of.

During their summer of playing baseball, the kids also go to a fair, go swimming, watch fireworks, and one has a memorable kiss that almost gets them all in trouble.
Does it sound like I described The Sandlot 1? Yup. Because this is basically the same movie. Even many of the same lines of dialogue are used. There are only two differences: one) girls on the team and two) a neighborhood kid who is really into model rockets.
I wanted to try to review this movie independent of the first. Had the plot been different, that might have been possible. But as it is, this is a bad, bad, bad remake. I blame Canada.
And I hear there is a third Sandlot.

Grade 1 lazy star out of 5.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Cry Blood Apache (1971)

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Cry Blood, Apache (1970). This is one of the lowest rated Westerns ever and for good reason. It is super low budget, with bad acting, and horrible camera work.

A group of shitty white dudes kill a family of Spanish-speaking Apaches. They kidnap the daughter and attempt to find gold. The son of the family returns from a ride to find his family dead. He hunts down the shitty white guys and kills most of them until the stupid ending. Did I mention that the daughter suffers from Stockholm Syndrome and falls in love with one of the shitty white guys who murdered her family? Because a shitty white guy probably wrote the movie.
This would have been much better if it was a grindhouse horror posing as a Western. Tarantino before Tarantino.

As it is, it sucked.

Grade 1 Native American star out of 5.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Verbosely Voluptuous or Voluptuously Verbose

Originally posted in 2010, I decided to repost it and give it a look over for editing. Enjoy.

When I was in high school, before the dark times, and before the Empire, I was a bit awkward. Although most people would say that is true of everyone at that age, I was teenage awkward beyond teenage awkward. I was 6'0-plus and rail thin, with a surfer haircut and a White Sox hat. I could quote Ol' Dirty Bastard lyrics and Star Wars trivia, and then tell you what former Mets third baseman Howard Johnson's batting average was in 1989 (.287).

(Nowadays many of these traits are admirable and add to a person's charm, but back then they were just geeky. Except for the surfer cut and the Sox hat, those are still bad choices.)

Adding to my many high school era personality quirks and fashion fas pauxs were a few unfortunate flubs. In ninth grade, for example, I got in a fight and was hit in the mouth with a t-square drafting tool. I needed ten stitches after spitting blood all over my teacher's desk. That was not fun.

On the more humorous side, my proclivity for gaffs was raised to another level during a 12th grade English class. One day, for a reason I do not remember, the student sitting in front of me in English class was perusing a dictionary and looking up words that start with "V".

To this day, I am not sure why he was reading the dictionary, but this kid was one of the smartest in the school and now, according to his Facebook page, has his Ph.D, so who am I to question early academic inquiry.

After asking the young genius what he was doing, we started comparing our knowledge of multi-syllabic "v-words", to include the word "voluptuous" - meaning, among other things, "suggesting sensual pleasure by fullness and beauty of form". A few minutes later, as we continued talking "V"s, he dared me to call our sometimes long-winded teacher "verbose" - meaning "given to wordiness". Probably not the smartest thing to call a teacher, but I took up the dare.

Unfortunately, when I finally did get the teacher's attention, the synapses and neurons I had misfiring in my teenage brain that day didn't quite get the words right. Instead of telling the teacher he was very verbose, I told him he was very voluptuous.


I'll never forget his response. Without missing a beat, he looked at me, put his hands on his hips, struck a faux Marilyn Monroe pose, and said "Thank you."

Realizing my blunder, I stuttered, "I-I-I meant verbose."

"Are you saying I talk too much?", he asked.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, I tried to explain the whole dictionary, smart kid, and letter "V" situation. I'm not quite sure I succeeded before the bell rang to change classrooms. Saved by the bell.

Although I was initially embarrassed, I was able to laugh off my "voluptuous" blunder. I was even bold enough to give the same teacher the same pseudo-compliment on my final day as a high school student. On graduation day, as I was walking across the graduation stage, high school diploma in hand, I saw my English teacher waiting at the bottom of the stage steps congratulating every student for their effort. When it came my turn, I shook his hand and without missing a beat, said "Looking very voluptuous today. Oops, I mean verbose."

He looked at me and laughed.

He probably thought I was a little weird.

Glad I outgrew that perception.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Death of a Prophet

Tonight's cinematic adventure was Death of a Prophet (1981) starring Morgan Freeman as Malcolm X. Years before Morgan Freeman's Hollywood stardom, he played Malcolm X during his last day alive.

Freeman plays a very different Malcolm X than Denzel Washington, much more stiff and professorial. Interesting to watch because of that.

As for the movie itself, it feels like a low budget college art film. Almost like a cheap documentary and recreation. Good thing it is only 70 minutes long.

Recommended if you are Malcolm X collector or a Morgan Freeman collector, otherwise just watch the Denzel Washington version.

Grade: 3 stars out of 5.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Brotherhood of Justice

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Brotherhood of Justice (1986) starring Keanu Reeves, Kiefer Sutherland, Billy Zane, and Lori Loughlin.

Prep star Keanu Reeves and his racist friends form a vigilante group to rid their high school of bad elements such as drug dealers, theives, and Mexicans (really?). The group takes justice into their own hands once too often and things go wrong. Ironically, Lori Loughlin is one of the few main characters who doesnt go to jail. And accusing people of stealing because of their ethnicity was and is never ok.

If you ever want to know why John Wick works alone, this is why.

Grade: 2 vigilante stars out of 5.

Monday, August 10, 2020

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 7: Mutilation Mix

It has been a while, but once again I am brave enough to venture into the long and illustrious catalog of Psychopathic Records, home of the Insane Clown Posse and other associated acts.

Today's listen will be Mutilation Mix: Greatest Hits (That Never Were Hits) released in 1997. The back of the CD says there is 75 minutes of music and 2 new tracks, so I am expecting many songs I've heard over the first 6 albums I listened to. I wonder if this album has a theme, or are the hits that never were haphazardly arranged. Will these mostly be remixes of the socio-economic revolution songs or of tales of redneck-hunting and other murder and mayhem?

Unfortunately, the CD liner notes do not have the track list, so I had to copy it from Wikipedia. I hope it's right.

Request #1 (Nate the Mack)

The album starts with a phone call to Violent J. Nate the Mack asks about their greatest hits, which he claims they never had. Unless it was Cemetery Girl, which is a segue into the next song.

Cemetery Girl

This song is from Riddle Box. I dig this new beat. This might be better than the original, which I called "skippable" when I reviewed Riddle Box.

Hey Vato

This is the first time I have heard this song. It starts with Shaggy 2 Dope yelling at someone named Richie. Then it goes into a Violent J verse about gang banging. I still don't understand ICP's fascination with gangs. The song repeats how it is "all about clown love" - which is great marketing for their community theme. While the beat is interesting, and the chorus is good,  the verses are forgettable.

Wagon Wagon

This song was originally on the Ringmaster album. My original review was that this was the most mainstream of ICP's early work in regards to beat and structure. This beat sounds similar to a DJ Muggs-type beat from early Cypress Hill albums. 

Request #2 (Esham)

This track is another phone call. This time from Esham, asking that a song he was on be included in the greatest hits, which of course rolls into the song.


This song was originally on the Carnival of Carnage album. My original review said this song was like Funkadelic meets Halloween, with the ICP style of lyrical braggadocio - murder, mayhem, and sex. This version is shortened, about half as long and does not include the Esham verse. I wonder if that is on purpose.

Southwest Strangla (2 Dope solo)

I haven't heard this song before. This is a story from a murderer's perspective. While the lyrics aren't that deep, it is classic horrorcore. Still not a big fan of Shaggy 2 Dope's flow.

Never Had It Made

This song was originally on Carnival of Carnage. I like the intro. I still don't understand the ICP fascination with jail and incarceration. Do they have experience in the pen? Were they clowns in prison? 

Chicken Huntin' (Slaughter House Mix)

This is remix of Chicken Huntin' that was on the Riddle Box album. 

I Stuck Her With My Wang

This is the first time I've heard this song as I don't have the Terror Wheel EP. Shaggy 2 Dope opens the song with a verse on mutual sexual violence. At least I assume this is consensual. Horrorcore meets sex rhymes. 

The Loons

This song is off the Ringmaster album. Still creepy, but this time without the verse about socio-economic revenge.

Red Neck Hoe

This song was originally on Carnival of Carnage. Shaggy 2 Dope's flow is not good. So simplistic. This version does not have the Violent J verse. 

I am noticing a pattern with this album, that is it just samples of the songs. Which is really weird. Why would ICP do shortened versions of their own songs? This album would be better if it flowed like a real mixtape.

Request #3 (Charm Farm)

A third phone call recording to ICP. Dennis and Steve from Charm Farm request I'm Coming Home.

I'm Coming Home

This song was originally on Riddle Box. I didn't like it then. Does ICP know that many people who have returned from prison? Have they ever returned from prison themselves? This song admits a comfortability with negative conditions. It also doesn't have much to do with Carnival of Carnage/Ringmaster/Riddle Box storyline. Very confused.


This song was originally on the Tunnel of Love EP. I dug this song on the EP. The beat is fantastic. Tunnel of Love is probably my favorite album of the ICP albums I have listened to so far. 

The Stalker

This song was originally on Beverly Kills 50187. When I first heard this song, I was confused. Still creepy. 

Wizard of The Hood

This was on the Carnival of Carnage album. This was favorite song of the Carnival of Carnage CD. This track is only 1 minute long. Starting to think this whole album is a mixtape without any blending. Just samples of ICP's first 7 albums (6 I have reviewed, and the Terror Wheel album.)


Another one from the Terror Wheel album. Which means this song is new to me. Very West Coast funky beat. All about being paranoid. This is a cool song. Sorta a Mind's Playing Tricks on Me vibe. 

3 Rings

From the Riddle Box album and Shaggy 2 Dope's solo joint. Another song about the carnival. Violent J has an Ice Cube flow on this song. 

Request #4 (Harm's Way)

Not sure who Harm's Way is, but they are on this phone message. 

Murder Go Round

From the Ringmaster album. Still not a fan of this song. 

Request #5 (Daddy X of the Kottonmouth Kings)

The fifth call of the album. 

Southwest Song

From the Ringmaster album. This has a funky beat. Shaggy 2 Dope sounds pretty good here. Not sure why ICP fantasizes about the southwest. Is it Southwest Detroit? Or the southwest US?

Fuck Off!

Another Shaggy 2 Dope song. I bit uptempo for Shaggy, but he sounds good on this. This would be a fun song in concert. I wonder why some of the songs on this album are over 3 minutes and others are less than 2 minutes.

Dead Body Man

From the Riddle Box album. I didn't understand the songs placement on the Riddle Box story, but here it fits.

Cotton Candy

This is from the Tunnel of Love album. I dug this song the first time I heard it. All about sexual innuendo. 

17 Dead

From Beverly Kills 50187. I like when ICP goes social-economic. But the message gets lost often among the horrorcore filler, anti-redneck screeds, and sexual innuendo songs. Very confusing.

Request #6 [(2 dog)]

2 Dog drops a message on ICP's answering machine.

The Neden Game (Album Version)

This is a new song to me. ICP is on a gameshow answering a girl's questions, a la The Dating Game. I think this was a preview of the next album. "I would order you a drink, a stir it with my dick" is a great line. I like when ICP gets randomly creative. But again, their blending of several messages throws me off. Maybe that's why I like the EPs better than the joker card's albums thus far.

House of Wonders + Mike Clark Bitchin'

This is another new song that I haven't heard before. Violent J raps about how he doesn't like a preppy dude. Then the chorus goes into a carnival chant. Shaggy 2 Dope rhymes about turning a woman who did him wrong into a member of the freak show.

The song and album closes with their producer Mike Clark yelling at ICP for not paying him for this album and their previous albums.

Overall, this was interesting. I am not sure the point of a "greatest hits" album after only being around for a few years. This was definitely more of a mixtape than a greatest hits. I think if it was a mixtape in the traditional hip-hop sense, it would have flowed better. Here, it was just a bunch of clips of songs. I can't think this is a must-have for ICP fans, but real ICP fans need it in their collection.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Ramen Noodle Museum

As a college freshman, broke and carefree, my diet usually consisted of Cap'n'Crunch in the morning, Pop Tarts for lunch, and some brand of cheap beer and even cheaper fast food for dinner. On those rare days that I couldn't afford to buy food from the local Taco Bell or Burger King, I hit up my pantry's supply of Ramen Noodles.

Thanks to Japundit.com (via Global Voices Online), I learned the birthplace of my delectable freshman dish. My new mecca: The Ramen Noodle Museum.

Unfortunately, the website is in Japanese, so I have no idea what it says. According to Japundit's description however,

"At the museum, you can see different varieties of Cup Ramen from around the world, like broccoli ramen from Germany or curry flavored noodles from India, which are made without the soup base so that the noodles can be eaten with the hands, as is the custom in that country. Cup Ramen in all Western countries have noodles that are shorter than in Japan, to make them easier to eat with a fork.

The museum sports a virtual reality room showing what happens as ramen is made, from the viewpoint of the raman itself, and afterwards you can mosey up to the Instant Ramen Bar and order some ramen with custom toppings that you can specify."

I'm sold. Eating Ramen Noodles in Osaka would be like drinking Olde English in England, eating pizza at the Leaning Tower, or chowing down on French Toast in France.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Carter's Army aka The Black Brigade (1970)

Tonight's cinematic adventure was Carter's Army aka The Black Brigade (1970). This made for TV movie stars an early Richard Pryor and a young Billy Dee Williams as well as an appearance by Paul Mooney and a guy who looks just like Robert DeNiro. It is also written by Aaron Spelling, the guy who brought us Charlie's Angels and 90210.

Despite that young talent, this is still a low budget made for tv movie about a white officer who takes a rag-tag group of neglected black soldiers to secure a bridge so US forces can cross before the Nazis blow it up.

If you are watching for a war movie, you will be disappointed. From that perspective, its really bad.

If you think it will be hilarious because it has Richard Pryor, you will also be disappointed. Its not that kind of role. But this is a good story about black soldiers fighting for respect and succeeding in spite of - not because of - their white leadership and the unchanging system.

Grade: 4 young stars out of 5.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Universe is an Asshole

Here is a poem from many years ago. I think I wrote this for a poetry class.

Sometimes I wander the neighborhood
(or is it pickled?)

Drifting between actual and self reality

The world makes no attempt to reclaim me
Thoughts travel through my head
like driftwood



Examine this thought nugget
Fool’s gold

A fortune from a stale fortune cookie
This insight

What else besides our final frontier
contains dark emptiness,


Monday, July 20, 2020

An Update on Transportation and My Prophetic Ways

(I wrote this in 2010, but it is still relevant, so I am reposting it.)

Way back when this blog was but a little tyke, before I settled into whatever groove I have going on, before the days of poetry, emotional psychoanalysis, and tales of yore, I wrote what I thought was a really interesting post on my thoughts on the future of public transportation.

Quick synopsis: I think the ideas behind transportation will change as people want to text and talk instead of drive. We will see more public transportation and less cultural emphasis on automobiles.

That was my theory in February, 2010.

Since then, we've seen a bit more movement in that direction.

In June of 2010, we found out that driving and texting is not just a teen issue, meaning the idea of steady conversation has permeated other demographics.

Then we learned Generation Y is not as car-enthused as previous generations. But they are definitely more communications-enthused.

In October of 2010, it was reported that Google is making an automatic car based on Google Maps. A car that drives itself. So people can talk, text, or surf the web while driving. Through Google, of course.

Then another survey was released that said 25% of all vehicle crashes are because of gadgets.

No law is going to stop that. It's funny that people compare driving and texting to drinking and driving. I think you could compare trying to regulate people's communication habits while driving to prohibition. The government can't stop it. No matter how many tickets, no matter how many signal-killing doodads they use, they will not prevent people from attempting to communicate on the roads.

The need to talk has replaced the need to travel.

Local governments should work with Google or maybe some soon-to-be-out-of-work military contract companies to develop people movers such as the Google car or the things that the overly obese people in Wall-E move around in.

That would be cool.

Monday, July 13, 2020

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 6: Tunnel of Love

Picking up on my journey through the long and illustrious catalog of Psychopathic Records, today's listen is "Tunnel of Love", released in 1996. This is a non-joker card release following Riddle Box.

Based on the cover art, this album looks like it is going to be interesting - like ICP's version of a romance album. If I understand the Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope a little bit already, this isn't going to be Luther Vandross. There will probably be a lot of murder, mayhem, and misogyny. Romance, the ICP Way.


Intro starts with a deep tone and a whispering creepy voice welcoming us to the Dark Carnival. A woman whispers "do you love me?". This is creepy. I'm scared.

Cotton Candy:

Funky beat. Shaggy 2 Dope opens the song with typical A-B-A-B rhyme style. Cotton candy isn't about candy. Imagine that. I like this beat and the chanting chorus. Violent J drops the second verse. I am not surprised this album starts with sex rhymes. There is no Dark Carnival-Carnival of Carnage in this song. I wonder if there will be at all in this album. Is this the clowns day off? The Ringmaster gave them a few days off and they decided to chase women instead of kill rednecks. The clowns lead interesting lives.

Super Balls:

Another funky beat. Slower and more bassy than the last song. Super Balls is a superhero. I wonder if Super Balls knows Redman's Soopaman Luva. Super Balls is the first time I have heard "whoop-whoop", which I am pretty sure is an ICP staple. I dig this song, as misogynist as it is. It is funny. There are verses on this song that do not seem rapped by Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope (ed: according to Wikipedia, this song features Legz Diamond - which seems like a rip-off of Wu-Tang Clan Raekwon The Chef's nickname of Lex Diamond).


This song starts with skit of a murder in which the victim doesn't die. Then it goes into movie narration describing what a ninja is. (Seriously, first Legz Diamond, then a straight Wu-Tang style song intro. Wow.)

Then the song drifts into a fantasy verse by Violent J and his obsession with ninjas. Which is similar to "It Feels Good to be a Gangsta". The ninja is of course a hero. The ninja beats bullies, defends his mom, and then takes revenge on his jerk boss. No love in this song, just ninja fantasy. Like an 1980s kid after American Ninja or and other Ninja movie. I dig this. Super cool.

This song is the Official Ninja Webpage to music. Which is awesome and should always be promoted.


Driving beat. Shaggy 2 Dope opens this song with a murder verse. I guess the clowns are back. Although he mentions acting like a "gang banger should". Huh? This song features a fun call and response between "stomp" and "whoop whoop". I bet this is great concert song.

The song ends with a carnival beat and mention that the jugglers and clowns are coming to your town. I guess the clowns aren't gone.

Prom Queen:

Creepy intro. Violent J opens this song with a story about his upcoming prom. Unfortunately, he gets rejected by his proposed prom date. Then, in typical ICP fashion, he has to kill the girl who rejected him and brings her body to his house for his own personal prom. Sadly, I can see this song being listened to by kids who aren't very popular and maybe face rejection in high school. It is not very optimistic. I get it, but I worry the wrong kid could like this song. It seems more realistic than ICP's other social revenge songs. Creepy. Sorta like Possum Kingdom by the Toadies.

My Kinda Bitch:

Violent J opens this song taking his "kinda bitch" - who of course is a freaky carnival woman. This beat is really weird but interesting. There sounds like there is a duck quack in the background. Of course, Violent J's chick is anti-social, disturbed, and promiscuous. This is the ICP version of Apache's Gangsta Bitch.

When I Get Out:

Starts with a skit about a prisoner getting punked by guards. Shaggy 2 Dope opens with a verse about getting out of jail. I am guessing this song has nothing to do with the carnival of carnage. I am not sure where being in prison falls in the ICP story. Is this just a fantasy? Why would ICP fantasize about getting out of prison? Do they have people in prison? They never mentioned before that prison was a part of their lives. I am not sure about this song. It sounds like they are trying to build "gangsta street cred" with this, glorifying getting out of jail. Sounds like a song suburban white kids would write to be cool. Worst song on the album.


Track 8 has a hidden track at the end. After minute of silence, there is a gameshow called "You're a stupid ass" that narrates a quiz that when correct, gives a number to call to hear the title of ICP's new album. Neat way to build excitement and keep fans engaged.

Overall, this was a fun album. I wasn't expecting a lot, although I was expecting ICP's take on romance. I wasn't disappointed. A lot of the beats were tight and the rhymes were creative. The high point was Ninja and Super Balls. The low point was definitely When I Get Out. Another point about this album was that it avoided a lot of the socio-economic revenge ideas that have confused me about the clowns. But I think the joker card series is what kept the fans coming back. But to me, there non-joker cards albums have been more creative and fun thus far. Maybe I just don't get it yet.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Coronavirus Death Metal Album

I probably listen to too much extreme metal. I was imagining what an entire COVID-19-themed metal band would call themselves, their album, and their songs.

I would buy this album and I would see this band in concert. No doubt.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

When Deebo comments on your instagram, you stay quiet

I have been reviewing low budget movies on Instagram recently. It has been a fun hobby. I end my night with a movie, write a blurb, and share it with friends.

A few nights ago, the low budget fare of the night was Street Corner Justice starring Marc Singer of Beastmaster fame and Tiny "Zeus" Lister also known as Deebo to Friday fans. After posting my review, I tagged Tiny Lister. I wasn't expecting any reply. Maybe a like if he wasn't busy, but that's it.

To my surprise, Tiny Lister commented. That is super cool.

And by the way, when Deebo commented, I was quiet. When he left, I started talking again. I got mind control over Deebo.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Street Corner Justice

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Street Corner Justice (1996). Marc Singer of Beastmaster fame is a cop who doesnt play by the rules. When he goes to Los Angeles to sell a family house, he finds himself in the middle of gang territory.

With the help of Zeus and a kick-ass hooker, Beastmaster saves the neighborhood, eats donuts, and makes out with the token neighborhood single lady.

Since it takes place in LA, and Tiny Lister plays a tough guy, it is fun to consider this movie Deebo's backstory.

Overall, average perfunctory rogue cop fodder.

Grade 3 vigilante stars out of 5.

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Trouble with Sports Heroes

(This essay was originally written in 2011. I decided to edit and repost it.)

The idea of heroism is one our society often struggles with. When I was nine years old my fourth grade teacher asked our class if we read about any heroes in the local newspaper. I raised my hand and said “Yes, Mookie Wilson almost hit an inside-the-park homerun for the Mets and they won last night.”

As to be expected, my teacher informed me that despite Mookie Wilson’s actions on the baseball field, he was not in fact “a hero”. He then introduced the class to a local firefighter who had saved a young girl from a burning house.

That incident taught me a few things. Most importantly, I learned the importance of leaving a burning house as soon as possible. I also learned using the term “hero” to describe an athlete is not something that should be done lightly. Sports heroism is a slippery, often treacherous concept that should seldom if ever be used.

Over 20 years later, I still see people mixing and matching sports heroes with real-life heroes. And while it’s bad enough for a kid to confuse the accomplishments of a baseball player and a life-saving fireman, for grown-up sportswriters and other media types to do so is a slap in the face to those people who put their lives on the line for the betterment of society.

The dilemma gets even worse when people use war metaphors to describe athletes. Adding soldier, warrior, general, or any other combat or conflict descriptor to sports conversations confuses the cause and in some cases draws more attention to the word choice than to the cause for celebration.

Unfortunately, these tired clichés are used so often many athletes now honestly believe them. They feed their warrior personas by calling themselves a “solider”, saying they would “go to war” with their teammates “in the trenches”, or even portraying military fighters or secret agents in commercials. In generations past, athletes would have never compared themselves to war figures.

Back in the day, before self-aggrandizing became the norm, the only athletes who dared call themselves soldiers were those who actually served in war. One can only imagine what would become of a ballplayer daring to call himself a soldier or a warrior during the days of Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Bob Feller - stars who put their career on hold for the defense of the nation.

Somewhere along the way, and I am not sure exactly when, the hero/warrior/soldier cliché became somewhat accepted. While there is still an unwritten imaginary line mentioned by some writers on occasion and a stink might be raised for a week or two in some cases, by and large, comparing athletics to martial combat is accepted, if not embraced. Although it is still taboo in baseball – perhaps because no one has quite filled the venomous cleats of Ty Cobb – it is par for the course in NFL discussions, and has also made its way to NBA conversations.

In the NBA, the concept of a “warrior” is particularly interesting. Although we often associate warfare with a field (i.e. “the field of battle”), NBA warriors fight for glory on a court, a term normally associated with rule of law, a civil forum where compromise and discussion win the day.  Yet there are those players who have transcended the court and brought to mind the ideals of combat, where victory must be attained at any cost.

But the label of warrior has always been awkward. Was Navy sailor David Robinson a warrior because he was once in the military? What about 7’2 300+ lbs of Shaquille O’Neal? Or does his size automatically preclude him from being tough and determined? Do warriors have to have a pinch of underdog in them? What about the new school athletic prowess of Dwight Howard or Blake Griffin? Are they tough enough to be in the warrior class?

Outside of Allen Iverson, few who play the guard position have been referred to as warriors. Kobe Bryant has never been fully accepted as a warrior, despite playing a soldier in a recent commercial. Guards belong to a different martial class – that of generals, snipers, and long-range bombers whose purpose is to spread the offensive attack. No matter how much players with those labels contribute, they are never held in as high esteem as warriors.

Whereas some guards are described in martial terms, the majority of the NBA is not. Many of these players form the NBA’s statesmen class. They are the players who perform admirably, represent their teams well, work to win, but stay out of the trenches. They don’t cheat, they represent fair play, when the game is over, they’ll extend friendly handshake.

Despite our glorification of NBA warriors and the claims that they engage in some sort of athletic warfare, we are still uncomfortable when the warrior/soldier class tramples on our sense of fair play. We cringed when esteemed warrior Kevin Garnett insulted the medical condition of a fellow player, although we know we would have probably made the same comment if it meant getting ahead in the game.

The fact that Garnett’s psychological attack was questioned, first on twitter, and then all over the media, reflects our glorification of war but our reluctance or fear to experience the trenches.  We want our warriors to act with a certain decorum or level of civility, although we know that’s not what wins wars.

(The exception to this cultural rule is the interesting case of Michael Jordan. Jordan played like a warrior, shot like an assassin, but his aggression was swept under a veneer of corporate-generated statesmanship.  Jordan was able to cover his war-like tendencies with a Gatorade and a smile. His hatred for his opponents wasn’t vilified, rather it was glorified.)

By now we should accept the fact that sports warriors like Kevin Garnett are a lot like legendary general George S. Patton. Even though he was among the gruffest, hard-nosed, driving generals in American history, we like Patton. He was a hero. George C. Scott played him in an award-winning movie. But a majority of us would have hated to be under his command – to have to march sun-up to sundown, to be called a coward when fear strikes, or to face Patton’s classic stern no-nonsense demeanor.

On the field of battle we want fewer statesmen and more conquerors. We don’t study diplomats as often as we do heroes of war. The negotiator and the politician don’t capture the public imagination. Stories are not told of the great peacemakers.

The problem with many wartime generals, like those of sports warriors, is they often have trouble conveying their thoughts to a non-combat audience. Off the field of battle, they are public relations disasters waiting to happen. Take for example the comments by Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, in a 2010 Rolling Stone interview.

The list of athletes known for their aggression who have put their foot in their mouth is long and prestigious. In the most high profile cases, Garnett, Kellen Winslow, and John Rocker have all faced judgment for comments that didn’t translate well to the public. That is when we look at them different. We start to see that they aren’t the type of people we want to emulate. They have been so corrupted by their single-focus lives that they do not fit in with the world around them. And if their sin is so egregious that they become disdained, it might never matter again what they do on the field. Our admiration for them will be gone forever.

And they may never be a mistaken for a hero by a nine year old.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: The Black Godfather

Tonight's movie was The Black Godfather (1974). An African-American crime boss uses black militants to help push the Mafia out of their neighborhood.

No jive, this movie gets four stars out of five.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Real talk about the word Really

Years ago, anthropologist Grant McCracken surmised that Americans have changed how we use the word "really" from one that is "spoken with the upward lilt of a question" to one that "usually comes with an emphatic downturn in tone".

What do you mean by "really" really?: that American culture is under renovation?

It's definitely worth your time to read. Really.

(I love this part of one of the comments:

I think of "new" really being said before by Mom's.
Kid:"I didn't knock the lamp over, an alien did it!"

Personally, I think we should all aspire to have at least one "first-really" moment daily in our lives. Those are the ones made from childlike discovery. We should never assume to know everything that is going to happen. That would make us presumptuous and second-guessing - making us a "second-really" person. Those people should have no friends.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Roosevelt's Big Adventure

I am a huge fan of Pee Wee's Big Adventure. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid and every time I watch it, I gain more appreciation of its lunacy and weird universe. It is a twisted kid's movie that can still entertain adults.

Yesterday, Pee-Wee Herman shared a link on his Instagram to a homemade recreation of his classic movie. Entitled "Roosevelt's Big Adventure", it is a home movie made by two very creative parents and featuring their son Roosevelt as Pee-Wee Herman.

While their movie is a bit shorter than the original, Roosevelt's Big Adventure captures all the memorable scenes in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure - from the breakfast scene to the classic Tequila dance to the rescuing of the snakes. Even though I knew what was coming, Roosevelt's Big Adventure made me laugh like I was watching the movie for the first time. The family's creative takes were absolutely brilliant.

Grade: 5 Alamo stars out of 5

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: Bloody Murder

Tonight's cinematic misadventure was Bloody Murder. The most bland slasher film i have ever seen. It tried to be self-aware like Scream with a masked camp slasher like Friday the 13th. It failed at both.

It was as scary as an Ozzy Osborne video.

Bloody Murder's only redeeming quality is the late 90s attire on the actors. Flashback city.

Grade: 1 plastic goalie mask star out of 5.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Not So Serious Movie Review: The Contract

My latest cinematic misadventure is The Contract. Take The Professional with Natalie Portman, add 10 years to the main character, add Billy Dee Williams as a corrupt senator, and reduce the budget to that of a used car. 

How broke was Billy Dee Williams in the 1990s that he needed this paycheck?

This movie is only redeemable if you imagine this is Billy Dee Williams' political growth from Harvey Dent in Batman to the Colonel in Undercover Brother. They are all pretty much the same role.

Grade: 1 unprofessional star out of 5.