Friday, November 18, 2005

Me, My Brownie Elf, and I

"You live in a church - where you sleep with voodoo dolls, and you won't give up the search for the ghosts in the halls. You wear sandals in the snow and a smile that won't wash away - can you look out the window, without your shadow getting in the way-? Yeah, you're working, building a mystery..."

So, winter is upon us here on the North Coast - and I am not the least bit prepared. So much so, in fact, a Swiss Alps St. Bernard had to rescue me from the blustery bile that a cold front regurgitated onto my home in Lake County ("the l.c.") this afternoon. This loyal creature literally pulled me out of a snow bank, while still fully clothed in my Notre Dame Brady Quinn jersey and matching cargo shorts. After fixing himself a martini from his hotel bar in a barrel attached to his Pet Smart dog collar utility belt (Bat-Bernard?), he finally saw fit to revive me with a bottle of Hoegaarden and a slice of orange (perhaps a technique he learned from watching an episode of "ER" or something - I don't know!). Whatever the case, I awoke in my living room to watch the first full blast of winter cascade the country landscape outside my patio window.

It's times like these I wish Bowling Green had a satellite campus Cancun. Perhaps I could teach Pop Culture to the underprivileged or something. I'm not really sure of anything right now, but at least if I could pontificate about the pop, stuck in some Corona commercial, it might ease the tension of these tedious winter doldrums.

But that's probably when FOX News would send the tsunami to "get me." (They have a secret doomsday machine that controls the weather, you know! I read all about it on George Clooney's blog. Email Bill O'Reilly and ask him about it!)

And I know if that happens, I have faith that Aquaman will come and rescue me riding Shamu or something (Hey, if nothing else, I'm a realist!). Oh, sure, I might be sold to the "secret sex-slave trade" down in Atlantis, but that's a blog posting for another time, I suppose. At least the weather might be a little nicer down in that dome...


I am a little confused about the direction of The Cleveland Browns right now after that pitiful loss to The Pittsburgh Steelers. Oh sure, I'm concerned, but I'm not going to do anything extreme like handing out "Cleveland: Abandon Ship!" or "Cleveland: The Bizarro Chicago" bumper stickers to the fans down at the stadium ...just yet.

I admire and applaud the fact that Romeo Crennel does not buckle under the pressure of the masses to toss Charlie Frye into the mix - but, still, at this point in the season, what could it hurt? I mean, I understand he doesn't want to damage the future in Frye - but, at the same time, this is not your father's Tim Couch team. They significantly upgraded the offensive line - they have a durable running game in Reuben Droughns - and they have receivers who can catch and run with the ball - so what's the deal, Daddy-O ...?

It's time to see if Charlie Frye can learn to fly. Trent Dilfer had his chance - and he did an admirable job under the semi-depleted circumstances - but what are The Browns playing for now-? A high draft pick that will end up breaking his leg the first week of the season by showboating on his jet ski on the brown-and-green shores of scenic Lake Erie-?


My friend Alicia and I are fixated on Target. Target is like a Wal-Mart - just for more "upscale hillbillies." It's an oasis for pop culture Peter Pans like myself who end up buying Atari 2600 Flashback machines, Wacky Packages, and Hawk and Dove action figures from the toy aisle to ease the pain of a world gone mad.

Hawk and Dove are my favorite "aggressive-passive" DC crime-fighting superhero brothers - one, obviously, who goes into "attack mode" on a moment's notice while the other is a pacifist. While working at my college newspaper, The Cleveland State Cauldron, we used to stand up on on our seats and scream out "Hawk and Dove - ATTACK!!!" whenever we used to write a scathing editorial review on the corporate circus-seal-slurping CSU administration. And then print a remorseful retraction 2 days later...

Oh, sure, I admit - it was a bit theatrical. And why then Cleveland State men's basketball coach, Mike Boyd, never had me buried in the end zone of Krenzler soccer field like Jimmy Hoffa for some of the things I wrote about him is STILL beyond me...

But time - and Atari 2600 - heal all wounds. And ripping through those Wacky Packages made me think a great deal about my own mortality. That's why I have amended my will so I have those "Ghoul Whip" and "Count Funkula" stickers slapped on my coffin before I go to that big Blogosphere in the sky.

So, as the cold clutch of winter smothers me, I choose to retreat to my cave for the moment, and hand off Luke Skylwalker in a Trent Dilfer-like-fashion to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru as I scurry off to ponder my Pitfall high-score like Obi-Wan Kenobi on holiday.

At least until some brave soul seeks me out with the "secret plans" to The Death Star hidden inside an Atari 2600 console. To which then I can only scratch my SPJedi head and mutter: "I don't seem to remember ever owning an Atari 2600 unit...???"

May The Force Be With You, Cleveland!

"Yeah, we're never going to survive - unless - we get a little ...crazy."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Cue the Kenny Loggins, Gopher!

Ty Webb: "I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball. Just be the ball, be the ball, be the ball. You're not being the ball, Danny..."

Danny Noonan: "It's hard when you're talking like that!"

And The Continental Player of The Year goes to ...Grady Sizemore!

Congratulations to this year's winner of Continental's "Work Hard, Fly Right" award, Grady Sizemore. Grady Sizemore will receive 1 million Continental Airlines One Pass miles to donate to his favorite charity, courtesy of Continental Airlines.

Um, I'm not sure how this works, if orphans get to fly to Tahiti or what -? But who am I to judge... (There ain't no gruel served in First Class, Tiny Tim, so soak it up!).


In other news, an old friend of mine from college yesterday told me that I basically need to get out of this (bleeping) town, um, in no uncertain terms (I, um, guess the "Believe in Cleveland" slogan hasn't sunk in with him yet - of course, it's important to remember that he doesn't live in a nursing home, either). This was all over Hoegaarden, burgers and bar food at The Winking Lizard, of course!

It's not that this person (I'll refer to him as "The Source") hates Cleveland - just the opposite, in fact - he loves this town. And it's not about being negative, sour grapes, or any corporate ("Who Moved My Cheese?") kind of crap like that. He's actually (in his own way) one of the most positive people I know - and highly successful. But even The Source realizes spinning wheels when he sees it - and I'm sure his heart was in the right place.

He recommended a book to me entitled "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson (and it was the second time in two years someone strongly suggested I read this). So, I figure, if someone is going to actually take time out of their life to recommend something to me that they feel will help or inspire me, then I should at least be courteous enough to indulge them - so I bought the book this morning and intend to read it.


In other blah, blah, blah news - I recently had a discussion with someone I know who loves music yet, for the life of him, cannot understand why someone would PAY for Sirius Satellite Radio (after I mentioned I own stock in the company).

"I bet they use to say the same thing about Cable TV..." was my only response.

And then, like Dr. Doom, I returned home to my hidden mountain lair where I picked up my Larry Morrow chess piece off of my Clear Channel chess board and informed it: "Soon, my pet. Very soon - victory will be MINE!!!"

Then, in a final theatrical fit of rage, I flipped the chess board and scattered the Kid Leo and Maria Farina chess pieces across the four corners of the room: "Bah, hahahahahahaha! DOOM!!!"

For Weekend Update, I'm Chris McVetta ...and you're not.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Lost" in Translation

The Cleveland Plain Dealer had a spoiler "news item" on "Lost" on it's frontpage concerning the death of another character on the show - and I completely ignored it (as well as any other media info) because I did not want to ruin the surprise. (Although, I guess, the REAL mystery would be why my hometown newspaper keeps delivering a Sunday paper to my doorstep every week - when I don't ask for it and I don't have a current subscription...??? Maybe they thought I'd be interested in Dennis Kucinich's love life (cough) or why this "lemon in love" endorsed Jane Campbell for mayor. Yeah - there's the kiss O' death! Anybody...? Anybody...?).

I thought Charlie was going to buy the farm, but I knew it was Shannon as soon as the episode began last night (why else would they be highlighting her-???)

The first couple episodes of "Lost" this season started off with a bang (down in the hatch) - and have since fizzled (although last night's still sizzled at the end).

But it's focusing too much on these "new" survivors who are rather lame - get back to the basics: Dr. Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Locke (and the great character backstories) before focusing on these new people. It feels like the show has "jumped the shark" - in a mere few weeks!

It was great to see Boone again (even in flashbacks) - but, please, keep the mystery going on with this island and what it REALLY means - and, damn, "Lost" folks and creators, bring back the Monster/Security System into the fold and the other odd, universal mysteries.