Archive for March, 2010
You may or may not be aware, precious reader, that we’ve had a lil bit of weather up here in the Hub of the Universe. That’s fine, though, because rain has allowed me to become reacquainted with one of my all-time favorite humans, the Person Who Thinks It’s Acceptable to Walk Through an Urban Metropolis With a Beach Umbrella.
We’re dealing with history’s greatest hero, dearest reader. You see, here in Boston, during rush hour, in the rain, there are a lot of people traversing back and forth on the sidewalk. In a driving rainstorm, as truly biblical amounts of moisture are issuing forth from the heavens, why should everyone get wet? Surely, in this horrible, joyless, putrid existence, there are some on whom God’s sacred and holy light shines. Surely, there are some who are deserving of walking through an atmosphere more water than air while remaining bone dry. Good news, darling reader! There are, and you can pick out the Elect very easily: they’re walking through the streets of a town with 30,000 people per square mile carrying a patio umbrella.
You see, darling reader, in this postmodern world we’re living in, where traditional symbols of authority are being deconstructed faster than new ones can be erected, how can we be expected to know our place in the class structure? The Person Who Thinks It’s Acceptable to Walk Through an Urban Metropolis With a Beach Umbrella does us a crucial service, reminding we plebs wandering the hellish nightmarescape that is the Contemporary American City with a mere Totes umbrella or, even more pathetically, no umbrella whatsoever, that there are still champions walking among mortals. I mean, these demigods have to be inherently superior to the rest of us, no? Why else would they be allowed to saunter through the city under a circus tent while the rest of us stand aside in awe, our flimsy toy umbrellas buffeted by Poseiden’s own rage.
And not only that, but the Person Who Thinks It’s Acceptable to Walk Through an Urban Metropolis With a Beach Umbrella compels us to engage in two of our greatest joys: diving into curbside puddles to evade inexorable obstacles, and getting raked across the eyes by thin steel rods. Sometimes both at the same time!
Regular readers of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun know that I’ve lived in the North End for about a year and a half, and consequently have to walk to the Government Center T stop every morning to grab a B-line train to work. So every morning, I pass by the Government Center Quiznos, and every morning I see their “Name of the Day” promotion, by which anyone bearing the Name of the Day gets a free small sub. So for a year and a half, I’ve watched the Jens and Sauls and Annas and Borts of the world get their free sandwiches, wondering all the while, “When, Lord? When’s gonna be my time?”
Today! That’s when!
For just under 26 years, I’ve lived my life putting the “Tim” in timid, intimidated, and unoptimistic. Finally, for the first time ever, I put the “Tim” in “Tim is entitled to a free sandwich!”
Glory! Success! Triumph!
I’ve got a busy week of fantasy baseball research, tax return preparation, political speech crafting, and freelance editing ahead of me, boys and girls. Instead of getting all anxious about how I don’t have time to post, I’m just going to tell you that my output will be light to nonexistent this week. I hate to do this to you, precious readers, you who keep me going in times of trouble and motivate me to be the best crappy blog writing guy I can be. But I’ll be back! In the meantime, don’t read any other blogs. What’s the point?
Regular readers of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun know that their favorite blogger occasionally moonlights as a professional writing guy. Because I know you folks are always jonesing for more content, here are some selections written by yours truly from the latest issue of Boston College Magazine. This story is about the George Plimpton–esque afternoon I spent making fundraising calls to BC alumni. If you know me, you know how hard a time I have even asking for like, extra oyster crackers at a restaurant, so you can imagine how much I was pulling my collar in those three hours.
And here’s a story about Boston College’s last football game at Notre Dame for the foreseeable future, and a general overview of the rivalry between the last two Catholic schools playing big time college football. Despite the loss, it was a pretty heartwarming experience. I wound up talking to at least half a dozen pairs of fathers and sons, all of them just thrilled to be on that train from Chicago to South Bend, because they knew they might never get another chance.
And if you happen to be interested in my whole BCM oeuvre, you can find it here.
I’m not sure if y’all are familiar with hockey, but about a week and a half ago, the Boston Bruins’ Marc Savard was knocked out for the season by a cheap-shot, blindside elbow from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke. It was a self-evidently dirty play. I’m not here to talk about that. I’m watching fans walking home from the Garden out my window as I write, after the Bruins’ first meeting with the Penguins since that savage hit. I don’t know what happened, and whatever did transpire is immaterial to my argument.
I’m here to talk about the palpable bloodlust among Bruins fans for the chance to get some revenge against Pittsburgh. This judgment is based on my completely unscientific reading of various website comments and Facebook status updates today, but considering Sports Illustrated’s hockey writer was lamenting the NHL’s lack of disciplinary action against Cooke, and I’ve been reading stories about this game on non-sports blogs, I think it’s safe to say that some type of retaliatory vengeance was on the mind of many Bruins fans today.
If you take a step back from your ingrained understanding of the game of hockey, it should be a little strange that we’re even having this discussion. After the hit on Savard, the outcry against Cooke was loud, sustained, sincere, and justified. Hockey is a physical game, but there’s no place for headshots like the one Savard suffered. But look where that’s gotten us: an expectation that somehow, the Bruins would retaliate. Would they go after Cooke? Would they go after Sidney Crosby, the Penguins’ star? Would retaliation take the form of a similar cheap hit, or a gloves-on-the-ice brawl?
Even that Farber column I linked to above, written before tonight’s game even took place, takes retaliation for granted: the NHL could have prevented the violence that will inevitably occur, but failed! Now the Bruins have no choice!
But of course they had a choice. Cycles of violence are called cycles of violence for a reason, whether they occur on the streets or on the ice. It’s the same principle. What would be the consequence of the Bruins collectively saying “We’re going to stop this. It was an unfortunate thing that happened to our star, but two wrongs don’t make a right.” Would other teams find them to be soft? Possibly, but what’s the consequence of THAT? More cheap shots? I doubt it, given that Cooke’s hit has put those types of hits on the NHL’s disciplinary radar. Generally rougher play? Fine. If it’s within the confines of the rules, I’m sure the Bruins are capable of defending themselves. I’m approaching this as a rational person, of course, and not as a hockey player, or a hardcore hockey fan. Assuming retaliation, though, is a very pernicious fact of NHL life.
And think of what that assumption entails. Bruins fans, and a good portion of the hockey world, booed Cooke lustily. And then what did they, certainly in some cases, cheer for, and in other cases tacitly accept? Some sort of similar hit against a Penguins player. It shouldn’t be hard for someone with self-awareness to realize the hypocrisy at work. As one of our great philosophers has reminded us this season, what if it were you hanging up on this wall? Hockey fans should know better.
I can’t lie, precious reader. I was sort of disappointed in last week’s episode of Gossip Girl. But I feel it’s just a matter of getting momentum back, you know? This week contained its fair share of deception, meddling, and reversals of fortune. I think GG might be re-finding its stride! Let’s do this thing.
9:01 The DVD case is filled with drugs!
9:01.25 Ding ding ding!
9:02 “Since when do you cook,” Serena asks Nate. It’s effing waffles! And how convenient, there’s a bowl of homemade whipped cream in the fridge. Right next to the chocolate syrup and the honey.
9:07 Dan only admitted he loved Vanessa “as a friend.” I can’t remember the last time I said anything “as a friend.” I don’t even say things as a friend to my friends!
“Do you know a girl named Melissa,” Dan asks a rando in the hallway. I don’t go to NYU, but I can pretty much guarantee that not only was the girl Dan asked named Melissa, but her roommate was named Melissa too!
“I wanted to check a tweet,” Nate goes. What a simpleton. He lies like this guy.
9:10 The ambassador’s son is gonna sit here and suffer through a lecture from Lily? Why would he ever do that in a million years.
9:15 B should know Serena and Nate won’t respect Chuck’s intent not to hear his mother’s story.
9:16 Ah, a web of deception woven by Dan and Vanessa. Haven’t seen one of these in a while. I also love all the wacky ways this show tries to convey “college!” I don’t know if I have any NYU readers, and I’m not going to be so naïve as to ask “is it really like this?” But is it really like this?
9:18 “Jenny is not Serena.” Good line, Rufus!
9:25 Shen Serena said the Greeks know how to do comfort food, is it bad that I was thinking like, the 8th Street Diner?
Also, if I had a friend that meddled as much as Serena meddles, I think I would tell her to eff off.
9:27 “Friend is a pretty loose term right now.” Eh? Eh? Do I know Chuck, or do I know Chuck?
9:31 The Official Roommate of Dangerous, Dirty, Unfun on Little J’s drug stunt: “What could possibly be the perceived upside of that?” The mind reels.
9:33 Oh, so Jenny’s not afraid? And she’s trying to prove that she can stand up to her dad? Which is why she dropped all the drugs. Maybe Jenny IS Serena.
9:35 V: “Don’t get all Dan Humphrey on me.” I wish he wouldn’t get all Dan Humprhey on all of us.
9:36 So Damian would slander his father, the ambassador, for Jenny? Is that what we’re watching here?
Or maybe the intervention stuff was all true. Whatever. Is this Damian really reliable?
I also paused it for a bit here. So the times might be off. Because I know you’re keeping track.
9:40ish “Chuck’s mom, do you know my Dad?” Good plan, Serena.
9:44 Yes! Secrets revealed!
9:45 Those secrets kind of sucked. I guess we should have known that if Chuck’s mom was actually going to be a dramatic part of this show, they would have hired a better actress.
9:49 Jenny is like the Lisa Simpson of Gossip Girl. A nice character, but the episodes that are about her are obnoxious. Hopefully she runs away and goes wherever Poppy Lifton is. And the cameras stop following her.
9:53 Speaking of Serena’s dad’s letter, when is it gonna rear its ugly head again?
“I want to be that person you can bring anything to, the good or the bad,” Nate goes. What a typical guy line. Except when I say it. I always mean it.
9:55 What a dramatic turn of events for Elizabeth Fisher. Who’d have thunk that paling around with a bunch of crazy kids would change her mind!
Of course Dan and Vanessa can still be friends and hook up at the same time. Sex never alters friendships.
9:58 Serena, with a little reverse psychology on her dad. Clever! What happens when she finds out that things are working out with chuck and his mom! She’ll really regret that phone call!
So I saw the inimitable Butch Walker last night at the Paradise in Allston. You remember B-Dub, he of DD&U’s Fifth Favorite Album of the Decade. He’s a tremendous showman, and it was a dynamite performance. My only complaint: he didn’t play the song that he’s presently most famous for, his cover of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.”
Oh well. He more than made up for it. Have you ever been to a performance by a guy that used to be in another band? I’ve seen Straylight Run and Fred Mascherino (both late of Taking Back Sunday), as well as Jack’s Mannequin (whose frontman, Andrew McMahon, was, obviously, the singer for Something Corporate). I go to these shows because I think the music these artists put out is really good. But every time, there’s something in the back of my head wishing desperately to hear some of the old tunes. (Full disclosure: when I saw Jack’s Mannequin, they played “Me and the Moon,” but let’s be honest with each other, precious readers: “Me and the Moon” isn’t “Hurricane,” and it’s most definitely not “Konstantine.” So, you know.) I understand this is unfair of me. After all, the whole reason John Nolan, for instance, went off and started a new band was to avoid playing Taking Back Sunday songs.
So you can imagine my delight when Butch Walker, former frontman of Marvelous 3, sat down behind the piano and played one of that band’s best songs, “Cigarette Lighter Love Song.” Excellent tune. Listen to it live below, as well as Butch recounting a bit of the story of his travels through the record industry. Enjoy.
Regular readers of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun know that I, along with the Official Roommate of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun, play in a weekly cornhole league. (Cornhole, for the uninitiated, is a game a lot like horseshoes, except with beanbags and wooden ramps.) Well, last night was the championship tournament. What transpired was exactly what you would expect to transpire when two of the fiercest competitors in the history of lawn games pit their mettle against the best players the great metropolis of Boston has to offer.
That’s right, precious reader. The dynamite duo, Beanbag Puns Are Corny, is your Winter 2010 Social Boston Sports cornhole champion!
After a cutthroat semi-final round, we were up against two of the most formidable cornhole practitioners I’ve ever encountered. Dudes were straight up assassins. I’m talking ringers on demand. After losing game one, we fell into a deep hole. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that there were several moments during that second game where I was convinced we were done for. But in moments like that, in the white-hot crucible of competition, the truly transcendent athletes find a store of will that, quite frankly, doesn’t exist in ordinary mortals. Suffice it to say, we were able to mount a furious comeback and complete a David and Goliath story that makes the Book of Samuel look like a writeup of a mid-July scrimmage in the Plattsburgh, New York Little League.
For that, we were given the right to sip the sweet, sweet nectar of triumph (aka Sam Adams Noble Pils) out of that golden championship chalice. And t-shirts that will forever identify us as cornhole champions. Success! Victory! Glory!
You may not have noticed, but the sun was shining this morning. It was warm. A sweet breeze was blowing. It was as if the spirit of life were refilling the empty, fragile vessels of our souls. That’s right. After a long hiatus, Gossip Girl is back. I’m just praying that my tears of joy don’t fall on my keyboard and cause computer problems.
Also, I watched this off the DVR, so the time stamps are pretty useless. The whole blog is pretty useless, actually.
10:25 Zomg! GG is back!
Isn’t B obligated to inform her best friend that Nate is, in fact, a lamewad?
So Damien is from the same boarding school that S went to because she was a giant whore. Is this the uh, School for Scoundrels or something?
10:29 Hi Damien. Got any drugs you need to be delivered?
10:30 I probably should have looked over my last recap so I can remember why Rufus is pissed at Lily. This has been a long hiatus!
Since when are jewelers like lawyers and priests? Client confidentiality? What the hell is that?
10:31 “My grandfather got sick of watching me text you” = “My grandfather got sick of me.” Also, Serena wants to take things slow with Nate. I feel like anything would be slower than like, doing it on the bar. So carry on.
10:33 Remember when Dan was desperately in love with Serena? And now he’s casually giving Nate advice about her. Good turnaround, Dan. What a disappointment you are.
10:35 This is absurd! Jenny is making drug jackets! What a rotten human!
Anna Karenina roleplaying. Even as an English major, I don’t really appreciate that one.
10:38 Oh, that’s right. Rufus is going to shack up with the woman from the co-op. There’s that little subplot. How could I have forgotten!
10:40 But Serena, you’re right. The last thing you want to do IS rush into something! Why do I know your life better than you?
10:41 “I thought you lived on the Upper East side with your wife.” Just when I think Dan is a useless drip, he goes and redeems himself with a killer line.
“This wasn’t a Parent Trap situation that you and jenny could swoop in on.” Rufus with the burn! Did they get like, the good writers to take on this scene?
10:44 I’d like to see Jenny try to outsmart the international drug dealer.
10:45 Is that the first time someone has mentioned that Blair’s social-climbing agenda isn’t the most important thing in the world? Seems like it.
1047 Do you think the outfit that jenny would have worn with the sweet tart jacket would have displayed her cleavage as amply as serena’s? probably not, right?
10:51 You’ve changed, Serena? So why are you wearing a jacket made of drugs? Eh?
10:52 “That whore may be my mother.” I keep forgetting that it was painfully apparent to all of us that Chuck’s mom was at Bart’s grave, but that the folks in the show would never assume that in a million years. Woops.
Whoa, the masquerade ball was two years ago? The sands of time are slipping through my fingers like so many . . . grains of sand.
10:55 I really liked Serena’s shoes.
Hey, good idea Rufus, talking to your wife about your problems.
10:59 So . . . is this woman lying? Is it bad that I can’t tell? She’s got to be lying, right?
Also, is there any reason why we should believe that Blair’s super powers of persuasion work on grownups?
11:03 Come ON, rufus. You’re acting like your kid!
11:06 that newborn in the locket looked JUST LIKE CHUCK!
As always, I’m writing about the Oscars because I like movies and I watch them from time to time, and I’m always trying to position Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun within the zeitgeist. I only saw a few of the nominated films, namely Inglorious Basterds and a bootleg copy of Avatar, so as usual, all opinions should be taken with the requisite grains of sodium chloride. And for previous Oscar commentary, go here!
8:32 How about a Harold and Kumar reference in the opening musical number? Fun!
8:33 Also, remember like, ten years ago when Neil Patrick Harris was nobody? Does anyone even refer to him just “the guy that was Doogie Howser” anymore?
8:37 I usually don’t like saying these things, at the risk of sounding like I’m the kind of guy that thinks women are objects, but Helen Mirren = hot. Yeah, I said it.
8:39 In our first movie, we were both born a poor black child. That was kinda funny.
8:43 This George Clooney scowling thing in the opening monologue is supposed to be a gag, right? Am I just not in touch enough to get it? Because I’m pulling my collar like crazy over here! Also, I didn’t see his movie, but I think Jeff Bridges is owed an Oscar after being snubbed for his betrayal as Dude Lebowski.
8:47 Ah ha! An actor nominated from a movie I actually saw! Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor!
8:48 Ding ding ding.
8:50 I don’t like Ryan Reynolds being all solemn and serious, introducing The Blind Side. This is Van Wilder, dammit! Chris Brander! Is this some sort of preparation for us to take him seriously as Hal Jordan?
8:52 Does everyone else have a The Bounty Hunter commercial on right now? And are you all weirded out that King Leonidas is now the go-to guy for soulless, forgettable action flicks and cookie cutter romantic comedies?
8:56 Does this Steve Carrel thing mean that Jude Law won’t be appearing on this broadcast? I’m a huge Jude Law guy : (
8:57 I like what they do with the cartoons. That is all. I gotta go for Coraline here, because it was written by a guy that writes comic books. Like, really writes comic books.
8:58 College Humor says what needs to be said about Pixar.
9:00 Is Miley Cyrus on stilts? Look at how tall she is!
9:02 Reinhart Wagner, nominated for best original song. Is he German?
9:04 Neither of these guys who won look like a “T-Bone Burnett.” I think the guy that said “I love you more than rainbows, baby” should be named T-Bone.
9:06 Why didn’t they make the previews for District 9 as good as that little montage? I probably would have seen it!
9:10 David Carr signed with the 49ers? Who’s our backup now? Sorry, this has nothing to do with the Oscar broadcast. It’s just a reason for concern.
9:13 I, for one, am thrilled with how Robert Downey’s career has panned out.
9:17 Molly Ringwold? Where’d she come from? I haven’t seen her since that episode of Family Guy.
9:17.5 Of course it’s a John Hughes memorial, so now I feel like a big jerk.
9:19 Breakfast Club, Shmreakfast Club, when was anyone gonna tell me that John Hughes wrote Home effing Alone? And Christmas Vacation!
9:25 Margaret Monroe of Washington, DC, has never seen Christmas Vacation. I thought the world should know.
9:34 Yup. Short films.
9:45 Wait a sec, 72 percent of America preferred their toilet paper over the roll? How is that even possible!
9:48 Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire was based on a book? How about that.
9:53 They honored Roger Corman? That’s actually kinda awesome. I know a guy that works for him nowadays.
10:00 This is a make-up Oscar for Mo’nique, after she was snubbed for her portrayal of Cherry in Beerfest.
10:20 Bride of Frankenstein was a pretty good flick. Thoughts?
10:24 I feel like it would be much cooler if they actually like, recorded an actual RPG blowing up an actual cop car in that scene from The Dark Knight.
10:26 Now, does every member of the Academy get an equal vote for every category? What the hell does some writer know about sound mixing?
10:32 I’m glad we don’t have to see those Yaz commercials that are solely about how Yaz is actually deadly poison. Girls falling into bathtubs with their clothes on is much more whimsical than “Our last ad lied to you about how harmful our product is.”
10:35 Is this a glitch? I feel like the cinematography category should have some like, examples of good cinematography. Right?
10:39 I like James Taylor, but they couldn’t get Sir Paul to sing the song he co-wrote?
10:45 Remember when J-Lo used to put out records? “I’m Real” with Ja-Rule is still an awesome song!
10:51 Those guys were spinning on their heads for like, 30 seconds! That was a crazy. Maybe this is a legion of extraordinary dangers. Also, thank you, Alan Moore, for giving us the “Group Noun of Extraordinary Plural Nouns” construction.
11:01 I’m a huge Matt Damon guy. I don’t care who knows it, either. Also, this Burma movie looks wicked heavy. Yikes!
11:02 And then a movie about slaughtering dolphins? WTF?
1103 Seriously, Hollywood. Can we get a documentary with some whimsy? I’m about to cry.
11:05 Awesome awesome awesome. The producer of the winning documentary, The Cove, is the same guy that played Lyle Corman, the critic from the Philadelphia Inquirer who gave Paddy’s Pub a scathing review on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. H/t to my roommate for figuring that one out.
11:10 I’m kinda rooting for Jeremy Renner. Not because I saw The Hurt Locker. But because I saw 28 Weeks Later, and I kinda liked it!
11:12 People might treat this like a joke, but good for the pride of New Jersey, Buzz Aldrin, for appearing on Dancing with the Stars. I’m rooting for him full-throatedly.
11:19 Here’s the thing about Avatar. You’re a human, so when you’re not in your avatar, it’s sleeping. Presumably because you’re awake and doing human things. Don’t you also have to be awake while you’re in the pod and you’re controlling the avatar? Because if you’re actually the mind giving agency to this puppet, don’t you yourself have to be conscious? So when does the human sleep? Did this get established in the movie? And I’m not talking about established in a “we have one scene where Jake is tired in his video diary” way. I mean was this problem actually addressed and resolved in a grown-up way.
11:25 What happened to Michelle Pfeiffer? Is she not a big star any more?
11:26 I don’t know if I’m digging this “co-star yap yap yapping about the nominee” thing. These are Hollywood actors here. They don’t need to be praised any more than they’ve already been praised!
11:32 We all saw this Jeff Bridges win coming, right? The Dude abides, right?
11:34 Oh hey, Julianne Moore was just on stage. She played Maude Lebowski!
11:48 Did the Academy just not want to have to decide between Meryl Streep and the girl from Precious?
11:55 Is it cool or funny or something that the woman that directed Point Break just won best director?
11:58 I guess James Cameron will have to console himself with his millions and millions of dollars. I should probably also get The Hurt Locker on-demand? People seem to think it’s a good movie.
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