Hurry Home Early….

Whatever happened to boxing, anyway? Up until about 1992 or thereabouts, boxing was just HUGE. When I was in grade school and high school, whenever Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Ray Mancini, Larry Holmes or even Mike Tyson fought, it was an EVENT. Those Leonard-Duran fights – was there better sports theatre than those fights? You just didn’t miss it, no questions asked. Nowadays, there’s no excitement at all about any boxing matches. I can’t even name the heavyweight champion of the world and I think many others would be hard-pressed to do so. Now, you might respond by saying that perhaps my tastes have simply changed and I’m not dialed in like I used to be. I actually don’t think so. I think what boxing lacks these days are the true gatekeepers – the guys who were not just excellent boxers, but personalities with marketing potential. I think Sugar Ray was pitching Sprite for a while! (Quick search proves me wrong: it was 7-Up he did commercials for.)

Anyway, I DO know that I can get into boxing. I came across a match one night while I was flipping channels and I was entranced by two no-names slugging the living hell out of each other. Seriously – I had nothing invested in either of these guys and there I was on the couch, biting my nails and holding my breath. So it’s still in me. I just need someone to latch onto and it’s not Oscar De La Hoya, so don’t tell me that. Is there another young Mike Tyson out there (the BOXER, not the person) that will put boxing back on the map? Or is it really all about Ultimate Fighting or whatever that is?

The great Warren Zevon wrote a song about Boom Boom Mancini back in his glory days. Here he is performing it on Letterman back in 1997. Love the guitar riffs in this and also love the song because I remember each and every one of the fights Zevon is singing about in each verse. Great stuff. What happened to boxing?

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That Fish Smells About Done…..

I’m driving around earlier tonight running errands and after I get home we realized that we didn’t enough food for the babies tomorrow. You ALWAYS realize these things afterwards. So back out I go and I turn on NPR’s “On Point.” They’re running an interview with a fella by the name of Josh Ozersky, an author who recently wrote a book about the history of the hamburger. Interesting enough. Ozersky contends that the hamburger’s origin is out in Kansas. Many others (including a couple of New Englanders) claim it as well, but Ozersky comes off as self-proclaimed expert. He says a hamburger isn’t a hamburger unless it only has the core elements: beef, ketchup, cheese, etc. Anything else, he says, and it’s not a hamburger. I must disagree. During the summer’s, Steph and I grill hamburgers, on average, once every two weeks. We typically add lettuce, tomato and avocado and I pile on the ketchup and mustard. According to Ozersky, this isn’t a hamburger. According to me, it is. He also says, not verbatim, that things like veggie burgers and turkey burgers are insults to the word “burger.” Now that I would tend to agree with, but then again, it’s not hard to agree with that. It’s not beef. How do you dress your burgers?

OK, so last week after our hockey game we were just sitting around like we usually do and our goalie told me to go to YouTube and search for the query “salad fingers”. So I did and after watching the first one, was 75% creeped out and 25% jealous that I didn’t come up with it myself. I don’t think I’m warped enough to come up with it, though. Anyway, it’s very hard to describe something that you think is both brilliant, yet incredibly…….unsettling. There are moments when I’m laughing and then – literally – five seconds later I’m feeling something in the pit of my stomach that almost equates itself to nausea and guilt for even enjoying it. But I do. Like a wreck on the highway, I just couldn’t help watching all eight bizarre episodes. I think it’s genius. And funny. And horrifying. Here’s episode 2, it’s safe for work, but probably not your psyche.

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Wester

So we’re driving in the car out to Western Massachusetts yesterday and just having normal husband-and-wife conversation. Talking about house projects, the kids, the upcoming week, etc, etc. The same conversation that trillions of other married couples are having each and every Sunday. Today I had almost forgotten it was Easter. That’s how much religion plays a role in my life. I’ve always said (and have probably said it here) that I admire and respect most deeply religious people – to be so devoted to something and so reliant on it for guidance and self-assuredness that it influences each and every day of your life, well, that must be comforting that deep inside, you have solace. I personally haven’t found anything in that realm worth latching onto like that. Maybe someday I will. Maybe I won’t. I’m not letting it consume me. As I read this, it sounds pessimistic, almost cynical, doesn’t it? But in a world where religion does a good amount of harm (more harm than good, depending on who you ask), I’m feeling like if I latch onto something, it’s not going to be straight-up-the-middle religion.

Anyway, I often times get confused about what all these holidays mean. Christmas is an easy one – but I freely admit I only know that one because of the Christmas carols I learned as a wee lad. But its days like Easter, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday that I have trouble with. There’s so many things that happened to Jesus that I get them all confused. So today in the car, I said “ok, Easter – this is when they had the big dinner where they painted Jesus and all those other dudes, right?” Stephanie just barely chuckled. She knows when I’m being sarcastic.

So I don’t know how the last supper figures into Easter or Christmas or whatever, but I thought it would be funny to say. It reminds me of a time a classmate and I were talking in high school. He was 100% sure (and totally serious) that the bible was written by a bunch of dudes on mushrooms or acid or whatever the equivalent of those recreational drugs were back then. I laughed, because it was an amusing thought, but I’ve remembered it over the years because that theory holds just as much weight as any other. I mean, stop and think about that for a second – it’s entirely possible and plausible! I still see this classmate nearly every week on the ice.

So check this out – I pulled this off of the BBC site after doing a search on the keyword “Easter:”

Easter Sunday is considered the most important Christian holiday. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death. It is popularly celebrated with egg hunting and toy bunny rabbits.”

Um, what? It makes you start considering my old classmates theory, doesn’t it? How did we get from point A to B on that one??? More searching on the internet provided this:

Traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.

I still don’t see the connection. But hey, many millions do. I hope you enjoyed your holiday.

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Shadow Dancing

So last night I get home from my fantasy baseball draft at about 12:30 and we were getting one of those 30 minute snow squalls, so I need to put both cars in the garage. I put one in and I’m going to the other car and I’m jolted by what I think is a large animal running from under the car. Probably to kill me or eat my leg. In truth, it was really my own shadow, reflected largely by the moon. I don’t recall ever being scared by my own shadow, but I’ll tell you what, I’m glad it was 12:30 and nobody saw me jump and shout like I did. Embarrassing. Note to anyone: having a 33-round fantasy baseball draft on a weeknight is not recommended.

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Now playing: Tim Easton – C-Dub
via FoxyTunes

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A Bittersweet Surrender

Big Head Todd & Monsters, one of many 1990’s bands I have a hard time distinguishing from one another, have done something interesting with their latest album release. It doesn’t matter what the album is called, because nobody will buy it. What they’ve done is what they should have done ten years ago – they pressed up 500,000 copies of their record and just gave them away. You see, nobody buys their records because their studio work is horrible, so it’s good PR for the band. One of the strangest things about the band, however, is that they’re actually good live. It is, perhaps, one of the most dramatic musical contrasts of the modern music era – how can a band so bad in the studio be so good on the road? Usually it’s the other way around. Who knows. The only way this band makes any money is by touring and they do it for like 459 days a year. It’s a hard life, so I hope they’re all friends. This funny article is about the band’s experiment and they also grab some amusing comments from local residents who received the album in the mail, as they were chosen demographically.

In the strange news department, I hope I don’t go to the hospital anytime soon and end up with a new anus instead of whatever I’m supposed to get. Yikes.

Saturday Night Live has been pretty weak the last few years, but I still Tivo the episodes and I still scroll through most of the episodes, trying to find one or two great moments. For the last couple of years, those moments have come courtesy of SNL’s Digital Shorts, which seems to be the pet project of cast member Andy Samberg. This one ran last fall and I just got around to watching it and it is pretty damn funny….

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