Sluttish

She was really quite sluttish, in her way.

We all knew her when we were in high school—the popular girl, captain of the tennis team, president of the drama club, prom queen senior year, a million friends and a million enemies, and they were the same group of people.

She dressed conservatively, but not to a fault. She was much sought-after, but never led the boys on. She went to church most Sundays and always capitalized her God. She got straight A’s herself and was always happy to help out the kids who weren’t doing as well, which the teachers loved. She ate healthy most of the time, but wasn’t afraid of pizza. She didn’t really drink much, but wasn’t condescending towards those who did so more frequently. She was funny, and had a contagious laugh which she loved to use. All in all, she was a great person.

She made her way to the top in the usual manner—subconsciously stepping on everybody in her way—but even though we might have been hurt at the time, her face radiated such goodwill that, had she been a Roman two millennia ago, even the condemned innocent wouldn’t have begrudged her the first stone cast in the tirade of death. And, once she’d achieved her lofty social status, she was always the first to give a helping hand to any other ladder-climbers, her charity being so great that even those who swore to be her lifelong enemy would eventually be willing to eat cartons of ice cream and watch Matthew McConaughey take his shirt off on TV late at night on her couch. Her parents were strict but reasonable, some of the most popular on her block. Time spent at her house was always wholesome, never wasted.

Then, on a dare, she drank eight shots of vodka and had sex with the entire JV football defensive line under the stage after graduation while everybody else stood around watching.

She was really quite sluttish, in her way.

A Weezer fan’s lament…

weezerred2.jpgEight of the ten tracks leaked off of Weezer’s self titled “Red Album” today.

This isn’t gonna be a review of that album. I don’t think I could do that.

It’s a lament. The band I once loved uncondtionally has broken my heart way too many times.

This album is complete dogshit.

The band’s last three albums were certainly no Blue or Pinkerton, but they certainly had their fair share of passable to good – and okay, sometimes great tracks.

This one is just full of awkward, quarter-baked experiments. Seriously. Cheap crowd, siren and bird sound effects? Gangsta rapping? A six minute song where Rivers tries to recreate Green Day’s “Jesus of Suburbia” using the style of every top ten single he’s downloaded off iTunes in the past three years? Please. The guitar tones are straight out of 1999!

It’s all too hokey… I can’t even think straight. This has made my brain melt. Like, I want to describe the songs, or the lyrics on this aberration – but the words just aren’t coming.

You’ve lost me, guys. I’ve defended you for years and years – especially when your albums have not been up to snuff. It’s all too much now.

I just can’t imagine that Geffen would actually release an album that’s this offensive to such a loyal fanbase.

No MP3 this time. You can go search it out for yourself. If you dug 2 Girls, 1 Cup, then this one is for you.

I’m gonna go take a shower or something.

What good is a sentimental heart?

You talk about math.

He kisses you, tells you he’s leaving, and you end up sleeping next to a pile of dirty laundry, and you wake up wondering if anything will ever be substantial. Even the cereal you eat each morning burns off in no time.
I am a person so willing to create a meaningful connection. I’m ready, willing, and waiting if you are too.
The fact that my single head will lay alone in my double bed forever is completely, nearly deathly flummoxing and painful.

I’ve been listening to two albums almost completely on repeat since I got them. One is She & Him, which could possibly illustrate my life. This completely adorable girl sings about her willingness to love and be loved, and her sentimental heart. She says EVERYTHING I want to say, and there’s even slide guitars. I just want to play this for everyone. I truly love people more than most will ever understand

On the other side of the coin, the new Death Cab for Cutie album sort of the reality. I can’t cease from listening to “Your New Twin Sized Bed,” mostly because the song simply illustrates how miserable I think I’m probably going to be for the rest of my life. I keep trying to figure out why I am so undesirable, because I want something to last, and I can’t figure out why it doesn’t. Narrow Stairs is so horribly depressing. I get pretty comfortable in being a sad sack, like an old pair of pants that know ones body so well, hugging every slope and valley as if I was born in them.
Here’s a sample of the lyrics that lacerated my thoughts the moment I heard them:

“You used to think that someone would come along
And lay beside you in a space that they belong
But the other side of the mattress and box springs stayed like new
What’s the point of holding on to what never gets used?”

I tried to change. I might even be fighting genetics, and I can’t comprehend why so many seemingly horrible people deserve to be happy and listen to Big Star together while the only thing I’m snuggling up to is loneliness. This is really the pits, people.

This is everything you’ve ever heard before from a sad single woman, and it’s not that I want to get married and create ten thousand children (far from it…), but I just want to go for a walk with him and I don’t think he cares. Perhaps the entire population can just do better than me, or perhaps I just have expectations that need to be lowered. Or maybe I’m just a fool.

Either way, for a sweetly depressing look at my (and possibly every single Chicago woman) desolate romantic life, check out Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie, and Volume One by She & Him.

Don’t call it that

I hate “The O.C.” I make no attempt to claim otherwise, and at the urgings of several friends of mine have repeatedly tried to give the show second chances. I just absolutely detest every aspect of that program, and would quite frankly rather watch “Days Of Our Lives,” because at least that show makes no effort to hide that it’s a soap opera.

But what I hate most about “The O.C.” is the effect it has on music. I love that it provided an outlet for good bands to gain some exposure, pick up some popularity, finally make some real money. But I hate that as soon as a band appeared on “The O.C.,” everyone loved them, even if they didn’t know anything about them. I went to go see Death Cab For Cutie open for the Psychedelic Furs. The place was packed for Death Cab, but because all the little O.C. kids didn’t know a damn thing about the band they were there to see, it was an utterly unpleasant experience. In fact, several people assumed that Death Cab would be headlining the show, and when they went on before the actual headliner (the Furs), I heard people asking why the band was opening with a Death Cab cover. I heard other people asking when Death Cab was going to go on, because that band sucks.

“That band” was Death Cab, and they were opening the show with “The New Year,” the first song from their “Transatlanticism” album, which was the album featured on “The O.C.”

I’m not saying people should memorize all the details of a band’s repertoire before seeing that band live. But if all you’re going on is the music that was featured on a TV show, at least buy the album and have a vague idea of what (if no one else) the singer looks like before you go to the show.

The other thing I hate, beyond tons of bands being endowed with ignorant, obnoxious fans, is the conception by people like me–who hate “The O.C.”–is that a band, once featured on the program, is somehow ruined. The Shins, Rooney, Ben Gibbard projects, Frou Frou/Imogen Heap, I still listen to them. Even Phantom Planet, who had the fucking theme song, find themselves in frequent rotation on my iTunes. The music they make was made before they were on the show, and you’re allowed to like bands who have been on a TV show you hate, and you’re allowed to hate bands who have been on a TV show you like.

This is more or less an incoherent rant written on a 7:1 waking to sleeping ratio, and I suppose the bottom line is, I’m really glad “The O.C.” is no more, and I’m really, phenomenally impressed with the new Phantom Planet record. I know I took my sweet time getting here. But that’s really all I wanted to say.

$3.43

Think back to a time when you were riding around in the backseat of your parents vehicle. Imagine looking randomly out the window, you come across a nice colorful gas station sign where it would read something similar to this.

|Prem $1.03/g|
|Plus $.93/g|
|Unl $.83/g|

It really didn’t seem like much at the time, just a sign with numbers.

This morning I went to fill up my gas tank. I took a look at the very similar sign I would see riding in my parents vehicle.

However this time looking at it I realized how bad things have really gotten. I had pay over $3.40 a gallon this morning. I have a friend in California who just payed $4.05. How out of control are things going to get before they get better?

Here is a link to a gentleman who for the past 30 years has been recording and plotting the prices of his gas. Every fill up, every station, every price. The results are pretty staggering.

My dad asks me fairly regularly,

“Hey, how’s the savings account going?”

I reply with a very simple, “it’s not.”

My parents expect me to save money for my future. Obviously, this is in my best interest, and I would love to be able to do that. But what my parents, and a majority of the older generations, do not understand is that it is not POSSIBLE to save money going to school, working, etc when you are our age in the current year we are living.

When our parents were our age they were paying what, like 45 cents a gallon? Even if you adjust that for the ridiculous inflation, it’s still half of what we are paying now. The sad thing is its only going to get worse before it gets better.

What can we do?

All-Time Greatest Sports Flicks

10. Varsity Blues

James Van Der Beek as a second string high school quarterback in football obsessed Texas. Jon Voight as the steroids pusher of Brian Mcnamee’s nightmares. Slow-mo tackles and strip club scenes ensue. Flat out fucking awesome. I give it 3 gold stars for being pretty badass, and making me wish I went to a high school with a crazy football program. I also give it a demerit for not having any hot actresses in starring roles. I mean, Amy Smart? Ali Larter? C’mon MTV Films. Step it up.

9. Glory Road

Made in the style of Remember the Titans, and featuring “Titans Spirit” as a trailer song. That’s really all I needed to see it opening night. An uplifting film about Don Haskins integrating the Texas Western NCAA basketball team, and eventually winning the championship against Kentucky with an all black starting lineup. Pretty sweet. I’m a sucker for “Titans Spirit”. Give it 2.5 Banana stickers for keeping me interested in Basketball before March Madness.

8. Miracle

Disney’s Remember the Titans of Hockey. Tells the tale of the 1980 US Hockey team. Seriously, people used to think Hockey was awesome. Another reason it rocks? It’s about kicking Commie ass. Best part of the movie? When all the players are playing for themselves, not playing as a cohesive unit (good words, I know.) Kurt Russell makes them do drills all night. After being completely exhausted, Eruzione (played by Patrick O’Brien Demsey) yells out, “Mike Eruzione, Winthrop, Massachusetts!” Russell replies, “Who do you play for?” Eruzione, as the American badass he is, makes the team amazing by shouting, “I play for the United States of America!” Face it. If you don’t like that, you are seriously a dirty Red.

7. Little Giants

Rick Moranis. Ed O’Neill. Mid 90’s sports movie. Need I say more? Give it a 9 out of 10 for tiding me over till Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. Best straight to video release of 1997.

6. Rocky IV

Best line of 1985? Probably the one I would’ve taken off of Jamie Lee Curtis’ ass in the men’s room of Ice Palace. Next best? “I will crush you.” James Brown performs “Living in America”, Apollo Creed dies, Rocky hits up the Soviet Union for vengeance, and the greatest boxing match in the history of the world is featured as the climax of the film. Once again, America vs. Communism. By my count, that’s America 2, Stalin 0. Step it up, bud. I give it an A for kickass.

5. Major League

“JUUUUUUUUUUUUUST a bit outside!” Great film. Charlie Sheen as Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn+Tom Bergeron as Jake Taylor/Wesley Snipes as Willy Mays Hayes=Pure Sweetness. Sheen’s delivery as a pitcher is actually the best on screen delivery, as told in an interview with actual players. I read the interview in either Sports Illustrated, or ESPN: The Mag. I can’t remember which. It’s real though. 4 Golden Gloves.

4. D2: The Mighty Ducks

Probably the most controversial choice. The first started the series, culminating in an epic match up of the District 5 Ducks versus the Hawks. 2 is actually really similar to Miracle. A team is assembled, spanning the nation. All of the players depend on individual skill over teamwork, Gordon Bombay changes the uniform and gets them to “Quack!” like real champs, and they beat Iceland to win the Junior Olympics. One word describes this film. Knucklepuck. Scratch that. 3 words. Knucklepuck, Bash Brothers. Gets a Stanley Cup, or the 12 year old equivalent. Frankly, I don’t watch too much real hockey. Just the silverscreen version.

3. Hoosiers

Holy. Shit. This movie is flat out, balls to the wall, awesome. Gene Hackman is a former NCAA Basketball coach who moves to Hickory, Indiana to coach the small town Huskers in the first basketball season since the death of their former coach. Hackman faces a town full of assdragons that try to kick him out, Chelcie Ross (who costarred as pitcher Eddie Harris in Major League) as a king douche, Dennis Hopper as a knowledgeable but drunk and crazy assistant coach, and a love interest who hates basketball. When Jimmy Chitwood demands to take the winning shot with 6 seconds left, floats it up at 2 seconds, and wins the state final, i almost crapped my pants. So good. Girls might like it too. Not sure why, just gave me that vibe. 2 thumbs up for possible make out action.

2. Brian’s Song

Only acceptable movie for a guy to cry in. Tells the true story of Brian Piccolo, a football player stricken with terminal cancer, and his friendship with Chicago Bears Hall of Fame runningback Gale Sayers. When Billy Dee Williams (portraying Sayers, but more well known as Land Calrissian) gives a speech about Piccolo, every person I know should probably be wiping tears from the eyes. Except my roommate Bill. He hates sports movies. He must be lying. If they made a Lance Armstrong movie, his gay ass would be all over that shit. I’ll give this one 3 of whatever the opposite of the Razzie’s is. Maybe an Oscar I guess.

1. Remember the Titans

LEFT SIDE! STRONG SIDE! I first saw this movie in 8th grade, when forced to watch it for some reason. I now own it, and watch it everytime it is on TBS, TNT, or ABC Family. All in all, about 3 viewings a month. Story of the TC Williams high school football team in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. My boy Denzel steps in as head coach when the 2 segregated schools of the town integrate and form TC Williams. Washington is the hard ass coach who doesn’t see color, just sees talent. Will Patton is the former head coach who steps in as assistant head coach to make sure his boys play instead of quitting to show him their support. Patton and Washington work together to overcome racism, and bring the team to win the state title. When Gary Bertier is in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down after his car accident, and Julius Jones comes in to help his newfound “brother”, my eyes fill up. To the brim. I’m not embarassed. I fucking love this movie. And Bertier. And Julius. Man. It’s good. I need a tissue. I give this one every award ever made in the history of man. Except a Grammy. Everyone knows those don’t mean anything.

Watch them. Learn them. Love them.