The Rundown

Remember when the nightly news resided in a half-hour timeslot preceding The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson? Welp, if you don’t, then I highly suggest you fire up your TikTok page and get to stepping, because this version of The Rundown probably isn’t gonna be to your liking.

See, Imma give a quick what to the week’s what. No trending or canceling and just a smattering of OMG. This isn’t to say it wont be dope with a side of Gucci, seeing as how I am nothing if not evolved(ish).

And now, heeeeeere’s the roster!

US Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina charged with driving with revoked license, reports say | FOX8 WGHP

In the world of politics this week . . .

Marjorie Taylor Greene didn’t utter a single, solitary stupid shit thing. Authorities will look into the possibility she may have been the victim of foul play sometime next year. President Biden assured the world that leveling more sanctions on Putin will not achieve a single objective at this point. He then asked for verification that he had, in fact, said that out loud. And in a recent poll, more than eighty-five percent of Americans believe their country’s current standing in the world is disturbingly similar to a country western song.

Madison Cawthorn made sure he would become the story this week when he referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “thug” and his government as “incredibly evil”. Meanwhile, Zelensky and his people struggle to remain above ground, figuratively and literally in the wake of Russia’s advance.

You don’t want us to fall in love with someone else’s world leader, even in the wake of the horrible trials that have befallen his people? Okay, it’s prudent to be wary of a foreign leader’s daily business. And no, we shouldn’t ramp up troop involvement considering all those complicated red buttons Putin has at the ready. But to proclaim that woke ideologies are to blame for all those civilian deaths isn’t provocative wordplay on Cawthorn’s part. It’s simply a small minded attempt at directing the narrative away from the carnage whilst never minding Donald Trump’s own past dealings with Zelensky. Cawthorn was right about some of the misinformation coming out of the Ukraine but it’s ironic that he fancies himself an arbiter of such untruths. After all, his idol and some of his peers know a thing or two about misinformation.

And one more thing, Mr. Cawthorn. Show some respect for the dead and suffering.

Average gas prices in Albany skyrocket by 43 cents in one week | WRGB

In business . . .

Gas prices rose another seven cents this week to a national average of $4.32 a gallon. And I promised myself that if Gronkowski-like spikes push that average over five bucks, Imma sell my ride, buy a horse and pick up smoking again. Because those methods will prove less maddening than presiding over satanic rituals every time I pull up to the pump.

McDonald’s closed up shop in Russia temporarily in the wake of increasing pressure to do so. The fast food giant turned out the lights in 850 restaurants across the country, thirty two years removed from its initial venture into Moscow. The golden arches will return because the truth is, burgers (and not bombs) are the sneaky secret saucy secret to spreading democracy (Read heart disease and apathy) around the world.

Calvin Ridley's year-long gambling suspension is a hypocritical farce

In sports . . .

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was banned from play for the entire 2022 season after it was discovered that he wagered on NFL games- including his own team- last season. Ridley stepped away from the sport in October in order to deal with his mental health. And there’s no better way to get your head right than by losing money to the Lions blowing the spread! Ridley’s actions leave Commissioner Goodell with a huge matzo ball to swallow; seeing how it was only five short years ago that he vowed to keep legalized gambling out of his league. Now he’s in bed with the books and now a high profile player’s been busted and now? It’s only a matter of time before the league is rocked with a game-fixing scandal that would make Arnold Rothstein proud.

Finally! Our long national nightmare is over now that Aaron Rodgers will be returning to the Packers next season. He’ll play for legacy, love of the game and the honor of being one of the all-time greats, and he’s ditching the drama . . . and okay, I just spit up my coffee.

Meanwhile the Denver Broncos were like, Our bae was in Seattle all this time, bitches! The Denver Buyers Club scored its latest Hall of Fame signal caller when they removed Russell Wilson from the witness protection program otherwise known as the Seattle Seahawks. And while I’m not sold on Denver’s chances to win it all, Wilson’s presence gives the AFC West perhaps the richest neighborhood of quarterbacks in the history of the league with the young guns Mahomes and Herbert duking it out with Hall worthy vets Carr and Wilson.

Oh yeah, and the MLB lockout is over. I celebrated by watching the Sixers/Nets game last night.

Marco At the Movie Review: Steven Spielberg’s reboot of West Side Story is ambitious in its detail and more polished than its cinematic predecessor. But that’s exactly why it falls short of the original. Because as with most works of art, the grittiness of the ’61 standard bearer happens to possess the kind of soul that just cannot be replicated. All that to say, I loved this version very much. I love it for its flow, for its abiding hat tips and I love that it stars the dynamic as ever Rita Moreno. But what I love most of all is that when you break it down, it’s that same classic tale of love and loss, with dreams of one more tonight.

And now a quick look at weather across the nation this week  . . .

Temps across the central plains were so warm that if you own a beer distributor, you’ll be good to book that vacation to someplace even warmer. There was snow for the peeps living in the central and northern Rockies, or should I say more snow. And if you plan on making light of all that snow, you best reside at a safe distance from their collective right hooks.

Until next week, good night and good luck!

The Rundown

Baby girl born at 2:22 on 2-22-2022

If you’re a fan of numbers, have I got a story for you . . .

This week, Judah Grace Spear was introduced to the world on a Twosday . . . uh, I mean Tuesday. Okay I mean both. The girl whose name means “praise” in Hebrew wasn’t just born on 2/22/2022 . . . which would be cool enough. Nope, she made the scene at 2:22 am at Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, North Carolina. This two-cute little lady is being called a miracle baby by her mama- a cancer survivor- who was told by doctors that it would be nearly impossible to get pregnant. Until it became entirely possible, and then the year and the month and the day let everyone know that miracles can come true, and they happen in two.

Judah was born in, you guessed it, Room 2.

Russia invades Ukraine: What should the world expect next? | WKRC

Apologies to Brenda and Nate but I couldn’t bring myself to satirize a conflict in Ukraine that has turned into war. Vlad the Travailler might behave like the stuff of lampoon but his actions are nightmarishly real. So as his army storms into Eastern Ukraine, the US had 1,000 troops mobilized in anticipation and just sent several thousand more. Oh . . . and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and his old boss are getting hard ons just thinking about their favorite strongman busting a move on the rebel region.

What’s interesting to note is that Mitt Romney called Russia our number one geo-political foe, all the way back in 2012. He was derided for his opinion by then President Obama, and everybody else. And yet, here we are, with Putin wanting the old Soviet Union back and willing to make it happen.

Want Equal Pay for Equal Play? Pass the ERA! - Women's eNews

Chalk up another win for women’s soccer after the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to pay $22 million in back pay to the players as settlement in the class action equal pay lawsuit.  The federation has agreed to provide an equal rate of pay between the men’s and women’s national senior teams.

What began in 2016 when several members of the national team filed a federal equal pay complaint, turned into a class action suit in March of 2019. While it falls short of the $66 million the players had sought, Megan Rapinoe called it a “huge win” just the same. The settlement is incumbent on ratification of the CBA between players and the governing body, which was extended through March 31st.

You go girls.

Michigan basketball boss Juwan Howard had me paying attention to college basketball this week. But it’s only because of an open handed slap he threw at a Wisconsin assistant. Howard took umbrage with Wisconsin coach Greg Gard for calling time late in a game in which his Badgers were cruising. And he wasn’t buying Gard’s (pretty valid) explanation. Listen, I love Juwan from his time with the Heat, but he deserved his five game suspension, just as Gard probably deserved at least a game for laying his hands on Juwan.

Out of the regrettable comes the forgettable, as some geniuses are suggesting they do away with post-game handshakes as a result of this incident. This prisoner of the moment thinking would have us cancel out sportsmanship altogether, rather than deal with isolated incidents. Which is not just weak, it’s stupid. But why should I be surprised, since this is a sport where fans storming the court after a game is still celebrated as an integral part of the game, in spite of the very real chance someone could be seriously hurt or worse.

It’s become a sport for fight buffs and bettors, not fans.

Social - Sofía Jirau, the first Victoria's Secret model with Down syndrome | Sherdog Forums | UFC, MMA & Boxing Discussion

Sofia Jirau was born with Down’s Syndrome. She was also born with a dream.

The blueprint for that dream required overalls, because as Jirau says, “You have to work hard, you have to work very hard, and more,”. It was that ‘more’ which landed the model from Puerto Rico a gig with Victoria’s Secret. She’s leading the way as the company makes good on its promise to become more diverse. And Jirau supplies the beauty and the brains and the determination that will inspire countless young girls to believe in their dreams. And then to go get them. Because her career path proves that impossible is the longest four-letter word in the dictionary when you set a course to find your best self.

There is no letup to her getup.

Big thank you to the lovely Dale for the dig on this one.

A shirtless person stands next to a truck, surrounded by dozens of protest signs, on a city street.

Okay, this isn’t about the blockade in Ottawa since I already covered that last week. I pasted this image (From the Atlantic) on here so’s I can ask a question that has perplexed reasonable folk such as myself for-fucking-ever.

What compels fat dudes to go shirtless?

11-year-old sews cheerful hospital gowns for young patients: "This is way more important than other things that I could potentially do" - CBS News

Imma wrap up this week’s episode with the story of a young lady who is sharing her art with some very deserving children in Freehold, New Jersey. Giuliana Demma sews hospital gowns for young cancer patients. It’s her way of providing some color in the face of the dark battles these children wage on a daily basis. For Giuliana, it’s all about labor meeting up with love.

“It makes me happy to help a child through their dark times . . . I want them to know that they’re brave, loved, and that they’re an inspiration.” She says.

Oh yeah, Giuliana is all of eleven-years old. Yes, she’s a child herself, and yet her life is living inside the shoes of her future self. Right now. Her time being the present and her present being the time she spends making somebody’s life just a little bit better. Since she started making the colorful gowns last year, Demma has donated more than 150 of them to hospitals and patients across the country. She even has a website called G’s Giving Gowns, where she takes requests.

We have become all too familiar with the dreadful consequences of a world that seems much too adept at taking all the things we hold most dear. But little Giuliana has an answer.

She’s giving it back.






You Can’t Fight Stupid

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence — Bukowski

Every generation is under the impression they are the right question to all the wrong answers that came before they made the scene. It’s a cosmic certainty that as soon as you’re old enough to stop listening to your parents, you’re dumb enough to believe the world makes more sense with you in it.

It’s okay, we all do it, whether we know it or not. And for the great good many of us, our hubris is as harmless and unassuming as hubris can be because let’s face it . . hubris can be a real dick.

But as we all know, a few rotten apples can spoil your day at the State Fair. And these bad apples usually possess a Peter North sized level of hubris. (Editors Note: Peter North is a retired Canadian porn actor who appeared in over 2,000 adult films and rumor has it, Jerry Falwell Jr. owns them all).

They are the worst. These flaming fork tongued fruit flies of fubar quag the mire with such proficiency they could make Jesus reconsider forgiveness. And that guy was the cash money king of all kings when it came to absolution. And what’s worse, these fools jacked his Messiah and built a complex of muck raked, half-baked nonsense where deceits get detailed before their noise pollutants are released into the public square.

As far as my confrontational side goes, I’m in recovery. But lemme tell you, the carousel of dumb and dumber that permeates this day and age ain’t doing me no favors. Most days I do abide by the creed that you have to spend honey to make honey. Most days I do. But there are days when my Jekyll goes Hyde.

You want a top five list of things that had me feeling all DEFCON 2 this week? Sure, why not . . .

1- Antonio Brown apologists can only be a thing in a country where people get pissed when their food isn’t ready five minutes after they order it. Not even Johnny Cochrane would take on AB, who is currently on a four-city, four season scorched turf tour. And no, his mental health is not a defense; it’s yet another reason why he shouldn’t be playing football.

2- Watching Fox News doesn’t make you a patriot, same as having a subscription to the History Channel doesn’t make you a tenured professor.

3- Twitter is not real life. You know how I know this? Because you can tweet that Mike Tyson is too old to get back in the ring and you’ll get likes. Try telling Mike Tyson that and his footbone will be connected to your tailbone.

4- Plant based foods are a supplement, but they will never replace the real thing. When the day comes that we can only eat plant based foods, I’m going to become an anarchist.

5- Power of the Dog is a heist film, because it stole two hours of my life. And if you loved it, well . . you’re lying.

Admittedly, I need to clean up my mental mosh pit because I should know better than to get drawn into these exchanges in the first place. But that’s what happens when you quit pain-killers . . . you lose the mellow and you end up playing cupid to their stupid.

I’m screwed.






The Land of the Free and the Home of the Blame

It’s been a minute since Nero smoked Rome into an urn, but I’m fairly certain Emperor V would relate to modern times just fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if he curses the fact he never got to headline a reality show, drop an album or run for the highest office in the land; CEO of Google.

And while our empire hasn’t fallen just yet, it’s becoming painfully obvious that we’re headed for the on-deck circle. Our republic is a mess of contradictions with ministers of misinformation having become the ruling class; their subjects intent on turning civil discourse into steel cage matches.

It wasn’t that long ago we marveled at the prospects of an information age that would usher in knowledge the way water fountains once delivered us drinking water. We were gonna be smarter than ever, Easy Bake style. This incremental change to our monolithic reference centers was akin to a roiling thunder whose portent we didn’t fully comprehend until the lightning strike provided us the ugly truth.

We killed the fountainhead.

So here we are, with elected officials whose platforms are built on the kind of shit-for information that would’ve gotten me tossed from my high school newspaper. And it’s okay (sic) because they have numbers; countless sycophants on the left, right and center who are only too eager to torch the other guy’s yard. Even if it means losing everything else in the process. Why concern ourselves with getting it right when being right feels so much better? It’s all about the end-zone, baby.

This absurdist portrait has snaked its way into every facet of our society. Millionaire ballers lecture us on social responsibility with bumper sticker slogans whilst hitting the snooze on their misbehaving peers. Reality show characters cry about the ills of celebrity when most people wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a lineup. Judges have traded in their day jobs for television gigs while jurors have become sensationalist authors.

This collective has nothing in common, excepting for the one thing they really shouldn’t; they’re never, ever wrong. And when that never ever calls them on that impossible wager? No problemo . . . they’ll just blame everybody else.

The Dallas Cowboys lost a game earlier this month thanks to some boneheaded play calling and a slew of high priced talent that always seems to come up small in the biggest moments. After which they held themselves accountable for the loss. Just kidding! No, they broke out the 134 year-old handbook penned by Ernest Thayer and they blamed the refs. Which is like blaming the local meteorologist after your boat capsizes in a storm.

Trumpists blame Joe Biden for losing the 2020 election, and those crooked suits at Dominion Voting Systems, and socialist operatives, communist wannabes . . . and the Dementors, them too. Okay, I made that last one up, but I’m sure if I were to suggest such a thing to any member of the tin-foil posse, they’d Facebook that shit into gospel right quick.

Antonio Brown blames the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . . and the Patriots . . and the Raiders . . and the Steelers . . . and dammit AB! Randall McMurphy called and he wants his crazy back, ayt? Aaron Rodgers is blaming the media for “fear porn” (I will admit, I’m jealous of the phrase because I think it’s fucking brilliant). Baker Mayfield blames social media and a torn labrum for why the Browns behaved like, well . . the Browns. On a positive note, Odell Beckham Jr. ain’t got a soul to blame since being released from that Cleveland gulag. He’s balling and his Rams are thisclose to awakening the echoes of Vermeil, Warner and Warren Beatty.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell blames the democrats for blocking his impaired vision of democracy. AOC blames the republicans’ sexual hang-ups for creeping her out to such a degree that she’ll only appear on the cover of Vanity Fair every other month. Newt Gingrich blames Nancy Pelosi for the Capitol riot. And as if things weren’t comical enough, President Biden blames Spider-Man for like, everything. I procured that last story from an impeccable source: SNL.

Nicki Minaj blames her cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles when asked for a reason as to why she won’t get vaccinated. And I’m super thankful I didn’t read that story until after I got vaxxed. Jennie Nguyen blames her social media team for racist posts on her Instagram page and I gotta admit I was at a loss since I have no blessed idea what Jennie Nguyen is famous for. Zach Galifianakis blames the Trump presidency on America’s obsession with celebrity, which he refers to as a “mental illness”. Tell you what. We’re in some pretty deep shit when the star of those Hangover movies chimes in as the voice of reason.

I had a dream the other night that Yogi Berra was belting out Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods whilst I was reading about a deadly microbe called Andromeda that was sweeping the globe. And . . it’s not the only reason I bypassed the green bananas when I went grocery shopping, but it didn’t hurt.

Can you blame me?

The Rundown

PHOTO: In this satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, and released by the agency, shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga, Jan. 15, 2022.

A tsunami advisory was issued for the west coast this weekend after an underwater volcano eruption on the island of Tonga, Because the west coast doesn’t already have enough shit to deal with  . . from earthquakes to mud slides to really ugly basketball. Officials were quick to point out that an advisory is not a message of impending doom. It’s more like Sheriff Brody telling everyone to get out of the water until further notice. Instead of a great white shark sighting, this warning concerns strong currents and waves that are way scarier than any fish.

Let’s get to the rest of the week . . .

Chris Evert: did somebody say icon #1? - Roland-Garros - The 2021 Roland-Garros Tournament official site

Before I knew anything about tennis, I knew Chris Evert. It was as if the girl next door just so happened to be one of the best tennis players in the world. For more than three decades, Evert was the headliner in tournaments around the world. From her on-again, off-again love match with Jimmy Connors to her epic rivalry with Martina Navratilova, she ushered in the new age of tennis; she was a television celebrity while collecting eighteen grand slam titles along the way.

But it was her grace in victory and defeat that separated her from all the tennis brats. And so, when the news came down this week that Evert has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it became one of those moments that makes you want to scream at the unfairness of it all.

Instead, Imma hope and pray that the girl next door has one more big win left in her.

2022 College Football National Championship: Stetson Bennett rallies Georgia past Alabama, wins first national title since 1980 - The Athletic

The Georgia Bulldogs made good on my prediction by winning the national title over those CFP regular attendees from Alabama 33-18 on Monday night. Okay, so I predicted the Dawgs would win it all last season, but I ain’t about to get stuck on the details in the afterglow of the school’s first football crown since Jimmy Carter was still in office.

It’s been a sports year to remember in the Peach State, with the Hawks making it all the way to last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, the Braves winning the World Series and Kirby Smart’s bunch vanquishing Emperor Palpatine and the Crimson Death Star.

And now the Falcons will try and . . . oh, never mind . . .

How To Get A Free Arby's Milkshake With The Diablo Dare Sandwich For A Wild Combo – DNyuz

When a fast food joint not named Popeye’s introduces a spicy sandwich to the menu, you best dial up your gastroenterologist so they can talk you off the toilet. Since I don’t feel like contributing to my doctor’s Aruba trip this year, I’m giving the Diablo Dare sammie from Arby’s a hard no. For those of you fool enough to try it out, you’ll get a free milk shake for your trouble.

Worst last meal ever.

Coronavirus: Diagnosis and Testing of COVID-19

The White House announced that we will soon be able to test ourselves for the Coronavirus in the privacy of our own homes. If you’ve got health insurance, you’re entitled to eight free COVID at-home tests.  Now, millions of Americans will be sticking foot long swabs up their noses and I gotta ask.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Six Feet Under - Rotten Tomatoes

It looks like Putin is up to his dirty tricks once again as Russia prepares to wage a “false flag operation” in Eastern Ukraine. Basically, it means that Russia will stage an attack and then blame it on Ukraine, after which they’ll invade under the pretense of stabilizing the region. And if you’re wondering why I pasted an image of Nate and Brenda from Six Feet Under? 

Because it fits.

They Were Babies and They Needed Help': Woman Sees 3 Kids Fall Through Icy Pond, Jumps in, Saves Them—No Hesitation

One minute, Dusti Talavera was chilling in her crib watching TV and the next, she was risking her life in what will no doubt be a Lone Star 911 episode at some future point in time.

As three kids played outside of her Denver apartment complex, Ms. Talavera kept watch to make sure they didn’t do anything crazy. But seeing as how the kids were 4, 6 and 11 years of age, and they were busy digging into a winter wonderland, what were the chances they were concerned with playing it safe?

So when they ventured out onto a man-made pond that promptly collapsed them into the icy waters below, Talavera got to stepping. She said it was pure instinct that guided her and that before she even realized it, she was standing on the middle of the pond, because “They were babies, and they needed help,”

That’s what happens when your best self answers the bell. You don’t flinch when faced with impossible odds, you don’t back down when summoned into harm’s way, you don’t wait for a hero to show up. You become one. And so she ran outside and navigated the tenuous sheet of ice, pulling two of the kids to safety before the ice broke once again and delivered her into the pond.

Unable to pull herself out, she kept the unconscious six-year old girl’s head above water while her teenage cousin found a rope that she used to retrieve them. After which deputies from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene and began performing CPR until she was resuscitated.

All three kids are going to be alright, thanks to Dusti and a brave sixteen-year old boy. Three young lives get to stay crazy and wonderful, and okay, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea if they kept more to the latter than the former until everyone catches their breath. There’ll be plenty of time to merge crazy with wonderful, now.

I did a little simple math and when you really think about it, hundreds of years were saved on that pond. If these kids live a full life, replete with kids and grandkids, that’s hundreds and hundreds of years worth of history that didn’t get lost to the depths. Hundreds of years and thousands of places and millions of moments.

Just like that.




The Annoyances Post! (My Therapist Is On Vacation Edition)

The Rundown has been preempted so that I can bring you an unfiltered, unfitted and unfettered mess of thoughts that have been squatting in my cerebrum. I was afraid this might happen if I ran out of Cinderella 99, so I’ll chalk this unexpected voyage up to living and learning. You can catch this week’s episode of The Rundown on Sunday.

Until then, here’s something less thought provoking . . .

  • Mario Lopez seems like a very nice person, but I can’t take him seriously when he uses words like “Cute”, “OMG” and “Yay!” in any sentence, much less the same fucking one. Listen, I ain’t down with the bullshit Hemingway methodology of machismo, but . . . if you got any testosterone in the tank, you can’t be riffing like Doc McStuffins.
  • They had to make another Joe Millionaire? Really? You know what the twist is in this show? That they made another Joe Millionaire.
  • AOC goes mask-less in Florida, Warren Davidson compares vaccine protocols in the nation’s capitol to Nazi Germany and the investigation concerning Matt Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficking is heating up. As if the Founding Fathers weren’t dead enough.
  • For the last time, Circus Peanuts are not fit for human consumption. If you disagree, you best get help for your blue pill addiction.
  • How the hell does Rob Lowe still have hair like that? I mean, without having to scalp somebody?
  • I think we can all agree that adjectives can be used for good or evil. So if you call someone ‘fantastic’ or ‘zealous’, congratulations on being a righteous human being. But if you refer to someone as a ‘national treasure’ and her name ain’t Betty White? Be assured, you are on my watch list.
  • Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross cycles through head coaches the way Kim Kardashian cycles through love tonics. He fired Brian Flores this week, never minding the fact this dude coached the hell out of an incredibly flawed team. Never minding the fact Flores didn’t lose his team when it sank to 1-7. Never minding that Flores was 4-2 against the great Belichick as Miami boss. That’s a shit ton of never minding, but it’s what Ross does. And now he goes looking for his seventh head coach since buying the team in 2008. Ross blathered on about how Flores was difficult to work with. You know who else is difficult to work with? Bill Belichick.
  • Renn Hawkey won Love Powerball, but I betcha he wouldn’t know Jane Austen from Steve Austin. A very trusted source provided me with this information . . .
  • Applebee’s stole the Cheers theme song now? Oh. Hell. Nope. (Psssst! That’s called foreshadowing).
  • MLB owners and the player’s union got together yesterday, and the only peeps happy about this fact are the caterers. The owners are intent on keeping their payrolls young and cheap for as long as possible while the players argue the suits are manipulating their service time. You’d never know the MLB pulled in more than 3.5 billion last year, but it happened. To quote Nino Brown, money talks and bullshit runs a marathon.
  • When someone begins with “Nobody asked me . . .”, shut any further nonsense down by finishing the thought with ” . . . and we are all the better because of it”.
  • I have a sneaking suspicion Power of the Dog is gonna roll this year’s Oscars. And good for everyone involved, really. But I saw it and I’m still waiting on a time refund from Stephen Hawking.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this magical mystery tour. If you made it all the way to the end, please let me know what you were drinking, smoking or ingesting in the comment section below. Remember, to err is human but to annoy is unforgivable.


Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s $19.99

I never quite understood what “if memory serves me right” meant, until now.

When I borrow the term, it means I’m applying a hedge to my guess. I’m slapping a plus/minus to a given year since my memory ain’t what it used to be. I guess it’s true that the more time you blow through, the more expensive it becomes.

October of 2014 was (probably) the last time I considered Halloween parties a good idea. Which makes me an insufferable bore, thereby ensuring my omission from future entanglements. That’s how win marries win without anybody getting hurt in the process. I’m nothing if not a simple Samurai.

Parties have become a perilous excursion for me as it is. Outside of family or close friends, I no longer attend get togethers that require an RSVP. And I’m less inclined to consider one that involves costumes, alcohol and strangers. Except that I am. Considering it. Only because the hostess is fun and not an ex and . . well did I mention she wasn’t an ex?

Of course, this means I have to dust off “Marco’s Party Rules”, to which I’ll employ my power five. . .

The 3 Person Rule- If you can wrangle up three people you would spend a couple hours with, no problemo. This list cannot include the host/hostess since they will be preoccupied. And it cannot include someone who does not drink or someone who drinks too much. And no Scientologists.

Don’t Get High On Your Own Supply- Don’t partake of the bottle you gift. You’re not a Scientologist!

Tunnel Vision- Make certain to focus on the familiar. Dwelling on strange faces will make the evening feel like a Dario Argento flick.

Lie, Humorously- A great way to break the ice is to introduce yourself with a lie. I’m talking devil-may-care shit like “Nah, I don’t know the hosts, I was passing through and saw all the commotion and decided to grab a quick bite!”.

Be Unapproachable- Fuck breaking the ice, it’s better not to engage in the first place. A helpful yardstick is for your personality to reside somewhere between a member of the Taliban and a Sandinista on holiday.

So I’m trying to build a posse for this party, and my recruitment began with Nicole. She’s a farmer’s wife whose hobby is harvesting pollen from honeybees. She clearly lives a dangerous life and I need that kind of firepower for this operation.

“Barry’s definitely going,” She assured me, as if she was selling me a baby blue Cadillac Eldorado, which he most certainly is not.

“He doesn’t drink, he loves Jesus and he’s got a new girlfriend, so . . nope,”

“Is Brandon going?”

“Too young,”


“Too Catholic,”

“Did you ever think maybe you’re too particular?”

“All the time, but that’s beside the point. What I want to know is, are you going?”

“Halloween parties always feel like a good idea,” She began.

But . . .

“. . but it never works out that way . .”

She’s right of course. Halloween parties are like that summer blockbuster (all of them) that you can’t wait to see, after which you curse yourself for having been born in a country that encourages such atrocities.

So if my memory serves me right, I think I’m busy that weekend.

If I had the bread, this would be my circus

Roman colosseum 3d model

After having given this some thought . . (Nineteen seconds worth), I have decided that my fandom is more middle of the road than Josh Duhamel at the Academy Awards. I care, but not enough to invest any kind of serious time or money to the situation. Which would make me the perfect owner, according to me.

And if Imma represent, I’d choose the NFL, only because I want to see the inside of Jerry Jones’s secret bunker. Outside of family and college pals, the only peeps who have clearance to this end of the world jungle room are NFL owners, Tony Romo and interns.

My team would hail from Montana, because while I want to see the inside of JJ’s bunker, I ain’t planning on shacking up there in the event of a real emergency. Hell no, I’ll have my own bunker. In Montana. Several stories beneath my compound, which will be an exact replica of the Corleone’s old place.

Team name? That’s easy, the Sentiments. It’s got a rhythm and blues coolness to it, and hey, I take care of my guys. Being a big league athlete who plays in Big Sky Country for a team with a cool ass name like the Sentiments? They’re going to score more dishes than a busboy on Mother’s Day. And as a result, I’ll never have to buy liquor again.

I would call my joint “The Boneyard”, flouting any commercial leashes in favor of the esprit de corps that will provide the requisite connection between fan and player. Because I find the best stadiums and arenas have a dialect known only to the regulars, which is why home cooking is most advantageous.

Also, never utter the word ‘stadium’ around me. If you must reference the locale in which we do business, call it an arena. The term has been bought by winter sports but it will always be the province of gladiators; These palaces are the progeny of a once mighty Europe, where the games people played were far from neat affairs. We ain’t that, but we’re looking to greenlight the production to make it appear as if war is being waged, hell is being unleashed and all that other macho bullshit. Hey, it’s theater in cleats, yanno?

That said, I’m not going to be in the business of hiring actors. So if a player has a social media account of any kind, he best keep it civil and smart. Putting dumb shit out there will result in a one game suspension. Conversely, putting good shit out there will result in fun little bonuses, just because. So . . . keep it coo.

As for the pie I’m slicing? While it’s easy to shake our collective heads at the exorbitant wages granted to those who play the game, well . . it’s a little late to be writing country songs about it. As an owner I must abide by the updated manual or wither on the vine. However . . .players who want a restructured contract a year after signing a new deal will be asked to find trade partners and/or a new agent. I don’t have time for divas or dummies on my roster. Want a little more of the what’s what? K . . .

  • Odell Beckham Jr., who has made a lot of coin off a single one-handed catch . . will never play for my team.
  • Urban Meyer, who is the biggest phony in an industry full of them . . will never coach for my team.
  • There will be no “free concerts” before our home games, even if our TV daddies insist upon it. We’re in the business of football, not music.
  • Safe and affordable parking. Fans shouldn’t be afraid of getting beat up or going broke when they come to our place.
  • Alcohol sales cut off at half-time. Because this ain’t a frat party and “fans” don’t get to escape their miserable lives by wrecking my house.
  • Any “fans” caught throwing shit on the field will be arrested and their name will be posted on our website.
  • So basically . . you best be an actual fan or you will be sorry you came to my place.
  • We have a home uniform and an away uniform . . we don’t have a million different alternate jerseys meant to soak our fanbase out of more of their hard earned dough.
  • When we ain’t playing games, we will rent out the joint to other events . . as per. But we will also loan the place out to schools and charitable organizations, free of charge. If a team is part of the community, it only stands to reason they do community things.
  • Concessions will feature small businesses on a rotating basis. Give the fans local flavor, give local business owners a chance to grow.

My team will be more entertaining than Kung Fu disco, mightier than a Chuck Norris handshake and cooler than Paul Newman. And when Roger Goodell decides to pay a visit, he can buy a ticket like everyone else.

I think Jerry Jones would dig that just fine.

The Annoyances Post (Volume . . Mucho)

You Want Me To Turn Where? On The Annoyances–And Dangers–Of Bad Street Signs – WAMU

Back in the day, I used to pen my annoyances on an almost monthly basis. The hope was that in expelling these inner turmoil ridden snake bites from my system, perhaps I would lighten up. Needless to say, Vietnam was a romantic comedy in comparison. I would love to blame this epic failure of a stratagem on my therapist but we broke up during the second Obama administration, long before I started writing these fuckers up.

Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time. These posts . . not the relationship.

Anyways, with the goal of self-improvement no longer serving as a hindrance, Imma dish up another edition of “Shit that annoyed me this week!”. If you find yourself playing along at home . . well, I’d seek help immejiately.

Aaron Rodgers- He spent the summer singing songs of woe is me, making State Farm commercials and wondering if his career was in . . wait for it . . Jeopardy. Okay, so his bosses are disingenuous schmucks who made it clear he is replaceable. Wow, like . . that never happened to anyone before.

Vladimir Putin- More insufferable than Chevy Chase, colder than Chrissy Teigen (too soon?) and smugger than a gossip scribe’s twitter page. All that and he rides horseback without a shirt. Who does that? This fucking guy, that’s who.

Jersey Mike’s Subs- No one, and I mean no one in the history of ever has exclaimed “Mmmm, New Jersey makes the best bread!”. It’s not a thing!

Pumpkin Spice- Their attempts to colonize every single food- from Cheerios to Chobani yogurt to Peeps and pancakes and pretzels is bad enough. But their attack on Milano cookies is an act of war.

Cracking my phone screen- Two decades, many phones . . and so 2021 became the year when I went broken china on my screen, and what’s worse? Tupac ain’t around to rhyme it back to life. Jesus, Mary and Martin Cooper . . . why???

Pants with drawstrings- The physics of this seemingly harmless invention is destined for tragedy, and still I return to the scene of this fashion crime. Shame on me.

People who say “What’s on your plate today?”- In a world where most phrases have the shelf life of a mayfly, why won’t this one just die?

Applebee’s commercials- To borrow from Tessio in The Godfather. . for old time’s sake.

The Miami Dolphins- If this sad excuse for a football team that should really be sold for parts were a person . . it would write a screenplay that feels very much like Capra in the magical first act . . and then turns into a Family Guy episode. After which, it punches you in the face . . and then steals your car and your house and your girl and your cats and your dog . . and then takes your identity, leaving you penniless, forcing you to rob a bank which leads to your arrest and conviction and the next thing you know, your cellmate is a three-hundred and fifty pound guy named Stumpy who’s serving two life terms and thinks you have a perty mouth. And then Miami comes to visit you every Sunday . . and he brings you a Jersey Mike’s sub.




To The Heavens, They Obliged

The History of the Twin Towers Design and Architecture - Bloomberg

“Good Lord . . . there are no words . . .” CNN Anchor Aaron Brown as the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Something hit the World Trade,” My wife told me as I was shaving.

Of the myriad thoughts that scrabbled through my brain, I never approached the reality of what had just happened. As I listened to the news coverage, describing the event as a small plane crashing into the North tower, I knew this wasn’t true. I’d been to the twin towers and gotten lost inside the mighty shadow it cast on my every step. They were double imaged testimony of man’s ability to dream big and build even bigger; One hundred and ten stories tall and almost three-quarters the length of a football field wide. A twin-engine Cessna would’ve resembled a pock mark on the side of this massive structure.

“It wasn’t a small plane . . no way,” I said.

9/11 documents detail bravery and fear - Deseret News

It was a few minutes before nine a.m., minutes that separated us from a sinister new normal and the worst kind of evidence that our world had gone sick with madness. I listened as the news reports kept getting it all wrong, and I prayed for the uneasy feeling that wouldn’t quit my bones to leave me be.

I stepped outside to take a call from my sister and lit up a smoke as we talked about what we didn’t know as if it meant something. The sky was a pristine ocean of blue that held forever in its mighty reach, as if Andrew Wyeth had paid God a ransom for the privilege. And then those precious minutes stopped separating us from the truth and then the second plane hit the south tower and then that peaceful blue sky went black and then a quiet Tuesday morning on the cusp of autumn became the meanest winter.

Ohio State studying effects of WTC dust on 9/11 first responders

It wasn’t long before Washington was hit, after which every major city across the country braced for the next attack. And then reports of a plane going down three hours west of us, and then the waiting as time got stuck in this insidious clench of hopelessness. By Tuesday night, I feared sleep as the threat of more attacks continued to prevail. And when I woke early on Wednesday, it was as if midnight had visited us and decided to stay.

I walked my kids to school at the end of the week. I felt an intense need to propagate simple moments out of the unseen world, and I was struck with an even deeper sense of humility. I visited the principal to offer my apologies. I had engaged in a heated argument with him on that Tuesday morning when I insisted on picking up my kids from school because I wanted them with me. I remember the exhaustion on the faces of every adult I came across. We couldn’t turn back time, we couldn’t undo all the horrible crimes that had been perpetrated on us. The calculus on a new millennium had morphed into a frightening new reality, where every person, place and thing could be the end of days.

NYC first responders, non-profit rush to save 9/11 tribute - New York Daily News

The weekend was full of shutting out the world around us the best we could, but it was no use. There were calls from my sisters who had just gotten home from Maine and calls to my cousin, who had been in the north tower, and calls to friends who still wanted to talk about the one thing we were trying to get away from but never would.

I went to church that Sunday. It was something I rarely did by that point, but it felt like the right place to be since I was desperate to gain a peace of mind that wasn’t happening in the days since the attacks. The house worked for me in the way I assume it’s intended to work because I prayed as if I had a direct line to Mother Mary’s ear. I prayed for the heroes who were lost and I prayed for the heroes who kept digging for signs of anything at all. I wished for that deep blue ocean of a sky to return those precious minutes back to them . . . the minutes that came before a raging storm stole their forever away. I wished for a different somewhere, a place where that brilliant sky might get to finish its work for their weary souls.

Wherever they were.