Here’s Johnny…………………………………..

After almost 19 months, I’m back. Why? Why was it so long?

Because I got a job and we all know that the machinery of capitalism is oiled by the blood of its workers. And like you, I am again one of them. Bleeding heavily. But I have already re-claimed my American sense of complacency and now make sure that I slack off and take the time to put this shit up.

Holy shit ! How much has gone on? How many of my Dirty Dozen predictions have come true ? I know that J-Lo and Marc Antony have split. So have Tiger and Elin as predicted. Oh my fuckin’ God…….I sound like some fag that regularly reads US magazine.

Ok, my new girl has it in the john and I admit that I browse it….occasionally. Only when I’m really backed up. Or Kim Kardashian is on the cover showing off that kinda awesome bubble butt. Usually, I’m just backed up from drinking.

What else has gone on in the last year-and-a-half?

Another Survivor season in which Russell Hantz was brought to freakin’ tears and and Boston Rob finally got the lifetime payoff the show likely promised him before signing on last season? How fixed is this crap? If you want a real Survivor challenge, try getting out of the South Side after a WhiteSox game at US Cellular.

But I digress…..what else of importance has happened?

Well, tonight I took 3rd place in my fantasy baseball league and won $175 smack-a-roos. It was awesome. I was down by 20 points at around 8PM and then my next two pitchers threw 15 innings pitched of scoreless ball to put me over the top. Oh…….you don’t give a rip about fantasy baseball?

Screw you then—–you don’t get it. I just won the entry fee to the first 15 weeks of the office NFL pool that pays out at least $100 per week. I intend  to win it at least two times this year—like last year—and translate the $150 winnings into $200 or more. Get it now? That’s what us Tired Americans have to do to eat now-a–days. That——or the soup kitchen.

That’s how it works—-see? Honest work is for suckers, as Callogio told his father (Robert DeNiro) in A Bronx Tale. You have to make a hell of a lot on the side to make it in this world.

What else is happening?

Well, the Bears aren’ t that great. They’re 1-2 and well on their way to the 6-10 that I predict for them. The offensive line is just too weak as has been well documented in the media, and as much as I enjoy it on a barbarian level, seeing Cutler run for his life every snap isn’t enjoyable.

Finally, apparently there is a book coming out disparaging Walter Payton as a womanizer and drug abuser. It allegedlywasn’t hard drugs or even recreational drugs…..it was painkillers. Oh, what a scoop ! If you’ve ever read or seen North Dallas Forty or any other noteworthy doc on NFL football in the ’70’s, it is all about reds and greenies and shots and other pills just to help you take the field. If Payton was on painkillers, my only view is “No shit, Sherlock ” No one deserved to take drugs more. Except maybe Kenny Stabler of the Raiders…..But that was purely recreational the same as Sebastion Janikowski (the field goal kicker) does for the Oakland Raiders now.

Didn’t he just kick a 63 yard field goal to tie the all-time record a few weeks ago?

Oh yeah……that was after he knocked out a few broads with HGB like he did in college at Florida State and was allowed to play in the National Title game while other FLA ST rule-breakers weren’t.

God Bless Sebastion Janikowski……..

Welcome to the NFL of the 1970’s with no drug testing, drugs on the locker room buffet table with scoops like an ice cream parlor, pill doctors on the weekly payroll, party houses in the highest district neighborhood (until the early 2000’s) , etc. etc. There was no drug testing and the more wild you were (for that time), the higher paid you were. Carry a machete in your car and you’ll make more coin ! Now you can’t even enter the league unless you’re a convicted felon.

Keep checking in for new posts—-especially the re-newed Asshole of the Month (AOTM) award and Survivor and NFL updates. There will be a new AOTM award for September 2011 in a few days. Check out some of the older award winners in the “Categories” archive. Don’t forget to regularly check out www.west34.com

It’s the best band in the near suburbs and they just rocked out Johnnie B’s in Brookfield on 9/24. They blew the roof off. Hit their next gig for sure.

We have what should be a for-sure Bears win this Sunday or I’ll be pissed off. Plus my imminent win in the football confidence pool. Oh, and Survivor aired tonight but I didn’t watch it live because of the last day of baseball.

I’ll have a summary of who are the biggest pain-in-the-asses on Survivor by then end of the weekend.

Cheers !


One of the Greatest Tribal Councils Ever on Survivor

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya……..

After being off for a week due to the start of the NCAA tournament, Survivor aired on Wednesday night this week (again due to tournament coverage on its normal Thursday). And it was another good episode in what has been a very entertaining season.

The show started with the usual coverage of the tribe getting back to camp after the last Tribal Council and some of the contestant’s thoughts on what just went down. Candace, who was very tempted to vote with Fireman Tom and Colby and surprise someone in her own alliance, explained that it just wasn’t worth doing that. She felt she’d just be throwing away her vote in an effort to get rid of the injured Gravedigger James when the Tom/Colby partnership simply didn’t have the numbers to get it done. And then she would really anger her alliance members and put a target on herself. So she had stayed with her alliance and voted off Fireman Tom.

The funny thing is that Amanda went on to say that nobody trusts Candace and that she herself is sick of her and she needs to go. So even though Candace did the “right” thing as far as voting, she has a target on her back anyway that she is somewhat unaware of.

Over on the villain side, pot-bellied Russell and Boston Rob had an entertaining nighttime chat. Everyone else was sleeping and Rob was just hanging out collecting his thoughts. Russell got up out of bed and decided to talk to him about their rivalry. Russell started out by trying to tell Rob that he wasn’t exactly gunning for him in an effort to have Rob let his guard down. But being pretty sharp, Rob wasn’t buying it. He tried to act like he was doing Russell a favor by telling him that other people had him in their crosshairs because he openly looked for the hidden immunity idol.

By the end of the chat, both guys warned the other that he better ” watch his back “. And then Rob made me laugh as he walked away and said, ” Good talk, Russell ” as if they had a productive conversation that wasn’t a bunch of chest thumping. Which it was.

The tribes went on to a challenge where they were informed both tribes would be going to Tribal Council and voting someone off that night. The winning tribe in the challenge would get to enjoy a hot dog feast as they listened in on the vote for the losing side. The lure of the prize was that they would get to be tuned in on whatever strife was happening with the other tribe. Oh….and the hot dogs, of course.

The challenge was a rope obstacle course where you had to climb up and over or slink underneath some logs that were wrapped in rope. The contestant was wrapped in rope as well and you had to maneuver so that you were basically untying the ropes and yourself to move along. It was done in three heats—-one by the hero tribe, one by the villain tribe, and a final with the winners going at it for the big prize.

Being the leader and stud man that he has been to this point, Boston Rob beat Candace in the final heat to win it for the villains. Those two also won personal immunity for themselves at the Tribal Councils. So Amanda and her group would have to wait to oust Candace. And Russell would have to wait to oust Boston Rob.

Then back at both camps, the strategy sessions started for that night’s votes.

Pot-bellied Russell showed what a smart player he is by seeing through Boston Rob’s plan to flush out the idol. Rob came up to Russell and said that if he had the hidden immunity idol, he better play it because otherwise he’s gone. Russell immediately told his ally Parvati that they must think he’s stupid. He figured Rob and his alliance would be voting Parvati out but that Russell would play the idol to protect himself because of the warnings that he was going home. He also identified how the smart plan for Rob and his people would be to do a split vote. But he wasn’t sure they were bright enough to realize that.

Over on the hero side, Gravedigger James tried to show his teammates that he was healthy enough to stick around by racing southern boy JT in a foot race. It was funny how JT turned around and ran backwards as he was beating James’ ass down the beach. It reminded me of Apollo Creed racing Rocky Balboa in Rocky III. James lost but I give him big kudos for running like he did. Gutsy.

The heroes simply had to decide who they were better off with—–a healthy, but uninspired Colby. Or a gimpy kneed James. Amanda was doing her best politicking to keep her lover around (James).

So when the Tribal Councils took place, Russell or Parvati looked to be in grave danger for the villain tribe. Did you say grave danger? Is there any other kind? {Dudeimtellinya.com would like to thank screen legend Jack Nicholson for that one there}.

But Russell proved he was the smartest player out there by turning the tables so completely that not even his ally Parvati knew what was going on. He had earlier told Tyson that he hated to do it, but he was going to break the split vote that Rob’s alliance would be doing by joining them in voting for Parvati. That way, he wouldn’t end up in a tie with her and also wouldn’t necessarily have to play the idol. This got Tyson to thinking that Russell had thwarted the tie vote plan and he could just vote for Parvati since it was all elementary. Or just to pile on.

Which he did. Tyson foiled his own alliance’s plan by voting for Parvati when he was supposed to vote for Russell. He messed up a fool-proof plan. Right before the votes were read, Russell played the idol. But not for his own protection. He actually gave it to Parvati to protect her. And in doing so, he opened himself up to being ousted if his own plan went awry. But it worked like a charm. Including Tyson’s peculiar vote, Parvati received four votes that didn’t count. Russell received two. And Tyson received three (Russell’s, Parvati’s, and Danielle’s).  

Tyson was gone ! And the alliance looked around at each other and for the life of ’em couldn’t figure out what the hell just happened. Hilarious ! I absolutely loved it. Boston Rob looked furious. It was so awesome.

And then the hero tribe opted to stick with a healthy Colby and voted James off. His girlfriend Amanda was in tears. But I was actually surprised to see that in the closing montage, even she voted for James. So the cohesive tribe did what they thought was best to win the next challenge.

A great episode with a surprise ending that had me whooping it up and clapping my hands.

See ya Tyson.

Stupid ass.


Back in the Saddle Again

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya………

Sometimes the irony of how the world works just blows my mind.

Here I go and celebrate the 100th post on dudeimtellinya.com on March 16th and within that post I raised the question of how long it might take to get to 200 posts. I even ventured that hopefully I would get a job soon prolonging that next hundred a good long time.

And lo and behold, a job sneaks up on me in a big ol’ bearhug. That freakin’ fast. Just like that after 15 months.

Want a little more irony?

I interviewed with the company on March 17th….St. Patrick’s Day. And the name of the firm is Shamrock. I do have some Irish in me. And the luck of the Irish must have been with me that day. Because on that same day that I interviewed for the position, they offered it to me. I met with them that morning and they invited me to come on-board that afternoon.

When I told my mother about my good fortune, she said my father must have been looking down and watching out for me. After all, his name was Patrick and it all happened on St. Patty’s Day. He was the source of my Irish blood.

So mama’s baby boy is finally back to work. Today I completed my third day with the company.

Everyone there has been extremely nice and have welcomed me warmly. There’s a youthful energy there and everyone seems to be really sharp. Very, very sharp. Each person seems to be very talented at their particular job. My position looks to be pretty damn challenging….which is a good thing. Nobody wants a boring, mundane job to have to trudge to every day.

I’m learning a new, advanced computer system and it’ll take some time to get used to. I’m confident that I’ll get it down though. Hell, I’ve had to learn a new computer system at every place that I’ve ever been in the work world and haven’t had one beat me down yet. So far, so good.

The greatest thing thus far though is the tremendous sense of relief lifted off of my chest. I’m finally off of Obama’s payroll ! I mean, I’ve always had a lot of confidence in my abilities throughout my work career. At every place that I’ve been, I grow to be a relied upon “go to” guy that always assumes much more responsibility than my original assignment.

But when you’re in-between jobs for over a year—-and you go to about ten or eleven interviews during that time without landing anything—you start to start doubt yourself and ask yourself questions. You begin to question your value. Is everyone out there better than me ? Am I not that good at what I do ? Do I have no talent ? Do I bring nothing to the table ? What am I doing wrong at all of these interviews ?

And then a place finally offers you a spot and the 1000 lb monkey climbs off your back.

Hopefully I am just one of the first of many to find a new gig. I have a ton of friends still looking. One good friend just lost her job this past Saturday. So I’m hoping the good fortune that came my way spreads to other people.

I’ll send some of my dad’s luck of the Irish their way as best I can.

I already got a nice dose of it.

Thanks Pop.


100th Blog Takes a Nostalgic Look Back

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya………….

Today is already the 100th blog post since I decided to re-energize this forum that was created and once overseen by the late, great “Morty”.

One of my posts paid tribute to Morty when he passed away back in January 2010. I was proud to have written that one and happy to be able to pay my respects to a friend in a place where perhaps more than a few handfuls of people might stumble on to it.

And it just put me to thinking. Instead of spouting off on a new topic today, I thought I just might go back and look at some of the first 100 posts. Just for myself. Not to recap them and bore you to death. But maybe to put up a list of my favorite ten or fifteen and re-read them just for my own pleasure. I’ll list them here in case you want to go back and re-read them yourself—-or maybe even check them out for the first time. If you are a somewhat newer reader, the earliest posts had a bit more fire and brimstone to ’em. But I’ll just provide the title of the post and the date it was put up. Maybe one or two lines describing the nature of it.

Here are some of my favorites going back to the debut date of August 25, 2009………….

Asshole of the Month October 2009     {Richard Heene)        posted:  10/27/2009
Asshole of the Month November 2009  {Nidal Malik Hasan}     posted:   11/30/2009
Asshole of the Month December 2009  {Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab}     posted:  12/30/2009
Asshole of the Month January 2010   {Drew Peterson}    posted:  1/27/2010
Asshole of the Month February 2010  {Tiger Woods}    posted:   2/25/2010 

** I had to start off with my prestigious Asshole of the Month award posts. I just might be more proud of these than any others I have written.

A Few of the Old Man’s Favorite Things                  posted:  2/18/2010
If You Don’t Have a Brother, Get Yourself One          posted:  2/3/2010
Another Good Man Taken Way Too Early                   posted:  1/18/2010

**  A couple of “tribute” posts. Of course one is in honor of my dad who passed away on Sunday, February 7, 2010. And another is in honor of my bro who I’ll be seeing this weekend at our fantasy baseball draft. He said he might pick up my bar tab because he just got his federal tax return. That’s the kind of shit that prompted me to write that post early last month. And then the ‘good man who was taken way too early’ is a post about the pioneer of this blog, “Morty”. There is actually a Celebration of Life party all lined up in Morty’s honor on April 10. There’s going to be a ton of friends gathered together along with his mom and his sister. Hoisting drinks to the guy who started DudeImTellinYa.

That shows just how liked he was.

More Crazy Ass Stories in the News         posted:  1/5/2010
Counting My Blessings for 2009             posted:  12/29/2009
My Resolutions for 2010                       posted:  12/28/2009
Video Games and Aggression                posted:  12/17/2009
Memories of Thanksgiving                   posted:  11/23/2009
OK, We Get It….You Wrote a Book          posted:  11/3/2009
The Workplace; Comedy’s Best Source of Material       posted:  10/21/2009
Feeling Sorry For Today’s Kids and Pop Culture         posted:  9/17/2009

**  Just in re-reading some of these posts, I started laughing pretty good at some of the memories again. The one about video games and aggression with recollections of my buddy throwing the controller around the room. That was some funny shit to watch back in the day. And the one about celebrity books……I was pretty proud of that one for the dress-downs I did on Jodie Sweetin, Hulk Hogan, Mackenzie Phillips, and Maureen McCormick. Cracked myself up.

So those are about a baker’s dozen of some of the posts I thought stood out above some of the others. I’ve written a lot of Survivor summaries and mock-ups. A lot of sports-oriented posts. But that’s to be expected from a diehard sports fan living just outside Chicago.

Go back and check on a few of these yourself. I really encourage the celebrity book post, the memories of Thanksgiving, the video game post, the workplace comedy post, and the Asshole of the Month awards. Those are the eight or nine that made me laugh the most. The others are a little sentimental and melancholy at times. But still pieces I am sort of proud of.

We’ll see how fast I can get to 200 posts. I’m hoping it takes a long time because I go back to work and can only do a few a week. But we’ll see. I have an interview tomorrow morning. 

Got my fingers crossed.


Rough Time For Some on Survivor

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya………..

I had to DVR this past Thursday’s episode of Survivor and watch it on Sunday because I was out celebrating my 40th birthday from Thursday afternoon thru Saturday night. But now that I got that out of my system, it’s back to business. Looking for jobs and posting blogs.

Thursday’s show was pretty good, although I didn’t care for the ending too much.

It opened up with the hero tribe getting back to camp after last week’s vote that ousted Cirie. JT started explaining to the group why he voted the way he did. He emphasized that  ” it wasn’t for me (himself)….I did it for the team. It was a chance to get Cirie out and I did it for the sake of the team.”

Then they cut to a clip of Rupert the Wookie where he says he’s madder than hell at the moment and can’t hardly express how upset he is.

Is it me or this guy kind of……………………….a dick now ?? Oh, the wookie is mad because JT is hedging his votes. I admit that like everyone else, when this guy was on the show for the very first time, I liked him. He was carrying his team to victory in challenges and basking in the adoration and appreciation of his tribemates. He said they were feelings that were never showered on him previously. And most of us could relate to him to an extent. Then when he was on the first All Stars show, he was just a bit less likable. He now had a confidence in himself that was lacking before. And with his confidence seemed to be a bit of a bossy nature.

Now the guy just irritates me. He looks like the homeless caddy for Happy Gilmore. And he always has a problem with one teammate or another. When he says how mad he is about an issue in that deep voice of his, he gets a look sometimes that seems like he might go postal.

Look wookie. Just keep your mouth shut and mind your own damn business. Nobody likes you anymore, OK ??

Anyways, back to the show.

Coach led the villain tribe in a dragon-master chi session where everyone participated except Russell. A few of the girls doing the exercise smirked a few times as Coach chanted like a Buddhist monk. But otherwise, they were engaging as a team. However, Russell did end up finding the hidden immunity idol while avoiding the exercises. He has a huge target on his back though because just by not participating and walking around on the beach, he was further alienating his tribemates.

The reward challenge had a funny start where the hero tribe was jacked up and trying to be as intimidating as they were in the sumo wrestling challenge a few weeks ago. The prize was a chocolate feast by a natural water hole. Probst tried to offer both tribes a tiny taste of chocolate as a pre-challenge treat and the whole hero tribe bypassed it. Colby had the eye of the tiger and Probst asked him what was up? Colby told Probst that he was just ready to get busy….so let’s go !!

Then Colby ended up being the guy that sat out for the hero tribe. I found that kind of funny.

Early in this physical challenge, Gravedigger James injured his leg. It was serious enough where he had to be examined by the medical staff and made to sit out the rest of the challenge. There was one really good exchange in this rugby-type challenge where Coach gave JT a shove. It was kind of a punk shove like,  ” I’m older and stronger than you….you young, country boy “.

So JT turned around and stalked Coach toward the sideline and picked his ass up and dropped him down on his shoulder in a nice wrestling move. Coach was stunned for a few seconds.

Then the Wookie got all physical with Jerri near a sideline post and smacked her head and sent her down hard. Play was stopped very briefly as the Wookie tried to explain his roughhousing and apologize. But nobody wanted to hear it….least of all Jerri…..and play resumed quickly. In the end, justice seemed to be served as Jerri made the winning shot for the villain tribe. They got to go on the chocolate feast picnic.

While on the feast, Russell started recruiting allies to help offset the target he had painted on himself. He shared the fact that he did indeed have the idol with Parvati and then with Coach. His whole motive in approaching Coach was to lure him away from the Boston Rob faction and Coach bit the hook all the way. Russell flattered his ass with a few ego-stroking words and Coach swore his undying love and loyalty to Russell.

Coach is just the biggest buffoon. He actually got down on one knee to be  ” knighted ” by Russell. At first, I thought Coach was going to service him out of gratitude. But he only got  ” knighted “.

Good grief !!

Meanwhile back at the hero camp, Amanda showed her deep-rooted love for Gravedigger James by crying for his return and professing her admiration for him. When he did return to camp gimping along in a leg brace, she ran down the beach to him and embraced him. Okey-dokey.

The brace basically takes away all of James’ athletic prowress.

So in the immunity challenge, the heroes used James as their signal caller in another blindfold-themed challenge. And I was a bit surprised when the villains did not go with Boston Rob as their signal caller again. He led them to victory in the last blindfold challenge and he was participating again in this challenge. But the tribe opted to go with Jerri. Perhaps it was so that they had enough guys to pair up with girls to retrieve the heavy puzzle pieces involved.

Whatever the reason they went with Jerri over Rob, it worked out nicely. Jerri did a decent job as the caller. And despite starting the puzzle later than the hero tribe, the villains overtook them and won immunity. So once again, the heroes were going back to Tribal Council. And I knew my guy Fireman Tom was probably dead.

There was discussion at camp about sending James home because of his injury. And the other candidate on the block was indeed Tom. At the Tribal Council itself, there was some more great banter from James and his adversaries. Tom tried to appeal to the (true) logic that ” a healthy Tom is more valuable in challenges and around camp than an injured James “. Which James argued against vehemently. The guy can’t walk and is hobbling around and he thinks he is still more physically able than a New York City firefighter.

I’m not so sure about that.

But regardless, Tom was voted out and my preseason prediction is over. I’ll accept that.

At least none of the cute girls got voted out for the third week in a row !


Now That I’m 40, How ‘Bout A Bucket List ?

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya……….

So as I announced Wednesday, yesterday was my 40th birthday.

I made it.

Sometimes there was some question as to whether that would happen. But over the last four or five years, I increased the chances quite a bit by settling into a more sedentary lifestyle. That certainly helped.

So where am I at as I hit 40?

Well, as most of you know, I’m in-between jobs at the moment. That kind of sucks. But I’m living in a nice, comfortable home with a basement, a yard, and a garage for the next few years. And I’m living in the neighborhood I grew up in surrounded by a lot of the old haunts. And lots of other friends that have stayed close by. And these friends in general—-based on the number of birthday emails, texts and phone calls, etc…….I’m an extremely rich man when it comes to friends. Humbled—-and honored that I have so many people I can call “friend”.

My Dad just passed away recently, but I still have mom. And my sister and her family. And my brother as one of my best buddies. So I’m still a pretty rich , lucky man when it comes to family.

And other than a lot of sleepless nights and some nagging heartburn, I still maintain a pretty good level of health.

I still feel young……like 18 young. I still like to go out and meet up with my friends and share good times and lots of laughter.

So that leads to the next question? What do I plan to do from here? What are my goals? What is my “bucket list” ?

Over the next forty years, there are a handful of things I really would like to do. Things that are of a pretty good importance to me. So let’s see what a few of them are……….

(in no particular order of relevance—)

1)  I’d like to write a book. Of course, I would like it to be a great book. I’d love to write a book that stands the test of time like Tom Sawyer or Moby Dick. But mainly, I would just like to write a book that I am proud of and it gets published. It doesn’t have to be a best-seller or make me a millionaire. I would just like to have a novel published and appreciated by just one other person.

2)  I’d like to someday have a nice, decent-sized log cabin home in a beautiful part of Maine or Vermont or even more northwest like Montana or Wyoming. A place with a nice lake nearby. Not some little box like the Unabomber lived in. A cool, log cabin home that I share with my wife and a dog or two. A place where I could write in peace and find inspiration. A place to walk around the lake and drop a line in. Away from the big city and all of the traffic and noise.

3)  I’d like to see another championship out of every Chicago sports team before I kick it. One more Super Bowl win for the Bears. One more Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks. One more NBA title for the Bulls. And I won’t even be greedy………just one more World Series title out of either the WhiteSox or the Cubs. Doesn’t matter which. I’ve only seen one so far in my lifetime { Thanks Sox !! }. So I don’t care which side of town wins it; one of you just win one more !

4)  I’d like to visit both Rome and Egypt before I die. I just can’t get enough about history and I would love to see the Coliseum and the pyramids before I’m gone. There’s a ton of other historical places and sites that I would love to visit. But those two are so old and classic that they are at the top of my list.

5)  I’d like to have season tickets to the Bears or the Blackhawks again in my lifetime. I once had season tix to the Bears, but the issue of personal seat licenses and a lost season in Champaign (while they remodeled Soldier Field) forced us to give them up. But one day when my financial picture is a bit more stable and secure, I’d like to have season tickets to the Hawks games. That would be sweet. Or the Bears again…..either one.

6)  I’d like to lose 20lbs or more in the coming few years. There is no room to get any larger. It’s time to stop the upward trend that has been happening since I stopped partying so hard and start a downward trend. To this point, I have actually viewed my increasing weight as a sign of health and recovery from where I was. Sometimes I was pale. Sometimes I was gaunt. Sometimes I was disheveled. Didn’t eat for two or three days just drinking and staggering around from one party to the next. Now I am heavy,  healthy, and have color in my face. But I need to look less like Porky Pig now and more like Bugs Bunny.

7)  I’d like to have an impact on someone’s life in a very profound and positive way. This may not happen until I donate my organs after I’m gone. But if somehow—-maybe thru a published novel—–have a serious influence on someone’s life in a really good way…….then you know you left your mark on this Earth. I’m 40 and not married, so the prospect of leaving any kids behind is diminishing. But maybe if I were to ever win the lottery, I could pay for a bunch of life-saving operations. Or send 25 kids to college that may have not otherwise gone. Something like that.

So there’s a handful of things I’d like to see or do over the next 30-40 years. Many of them aren’t that difficult. Like someday getting the season tickets for the Blackhawks. Or losing some weight over the next year or two. I just need to make them happen. Of course there’s some other things I can list, but for the sake of space, I stopped where I did.

Maybe I’ll share some of the more frivolous, hobby-oriented or travel-oriented things in another post. But I have to get out of here and go meet some of the fantasy baseball boys for some lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, go have dinner at a friend’s house, and then join a bunch of friends for some birthday cocktails tonite.

Like I said, I still feel like I’m 18. Today’s schedule is eerily similar to a typical day back then.



Corey Haim and Me Not So Different

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya………..

So I wake up this morning to read the reports that former teen star Corey Haim died from a drug overdose. One of the stars of The Lost Boys and License to Drive. He was 38.

And today is my very last day of being 39 years old. Tomorrow is my 40th birthday !

It’s sad though that this other guy won’t ever see his 40th. Legitimately sad.

I used to mock Haim when I was younger. Him and his buddy Corey Feldman. The two of them together was just a bit much for me to endure without ripping on them and their questionable acting skills. I’ll admit, it was probably more of the celebrity jealousy thing than anything else. They had fame, fortune, and girls and I didn’t. So I mocked them. That’s what some people do. Especially the people I hang around with.

Those two offered up a lot of opportunities over the years. There was an E!  True Hollywood Story on them and it drives me nuts the way every single show like that very tenderly portrays the downfall of the celebs. The soft, delicate music starts to play and the narrator inevitably says, ” He was only 19 and at the height of his career when it all came tumbling down around him “.  

And then we’re supposed to feel sorry for these people who are millionaires and want for nothing—-be it Leif Garrett or Corey Haim or Chris Farley——when they maim someone in an auto accident or hurt themselves in some fashion (like a $1000/day cocaine habit; boy it sucks to be them ! ).  Now when they do die, all jokes get put aside and it really is sad when another human being passes away. I’ve grown mature enough here by age 40 to appreciate that concept and know when to quit slinging mud at someone.

But the True Hollywood Story (THS) was followed by Feldman’s appearance on The Surreal Life on VH1.

Feldman is alive, healthy, and wealthy. So I don’t necessarily have to back down yet on my problems with him. This kid is just the kookiest little whiner you’ll find. At least from his behavior on The Surreal Life. He was a bit more manly on The Two Coreys. He had to play the responsible husband versus Haim’s unpredictable houseguest persona. But on The Surreal Life, Feldman was just the biggest horse’s ass. I used to laugh hysterically whenever he called a house meeting to ask why nobody liked him. And when he calls the meeting, everyone else in the house like Vince Neil of Motley Crue would take a deep, pained sigh and roll his eyes. Everyone would trudge to the meeting and Feldman would tearfully air all of his personal issues and beg people to understand him.

It was so funny it made my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. But just another reason (after the THS) to have fun at the two Coreys expense. When you mocked one, you couldn’t help but mock the other.

Which brings us to the latest project they tried to continue irritating us with—the two of them and (what they always believed) to be their cute little banter. Haim was the unruly houseguest disturbing the peace and serentity of Feldman and his young bride. The Two Coreys.

Oh for Chrissake !!

I will say this. I did watch the show alot. But just because these two jackasses with all of their totally staged “issues” and “confrontations” made me roll on the floor laughing. Not at their dialogue or the humor sprinkled into the show. Just because of how bad the acting was and the quality of the scenes. It was one of the most staged-looking shows I have ever watched. The facial expressions when Feldman or his wife didn’t approve of Haim’s behavior…….


So my point here is that when they were both alive and well……..working on a project and doing what they do……they were fair game for celebrity mocking and I don’t regret any of it. They have provided me a lot of comedy material over the years when I’m holding court. For instance, over the last 24 months or so, anytime I see someone that I haven’t bumped into in years……they always ask, ” So what have you been doing ? “

 And my reply has been, ” Oh you know……just working and waiting for the next season of The Two Coreys to start. ”

But things changed today. At least for my outlook on Corey Haim. He’s no longer fair game.

He was barely a year younger than me. And here I am ready to embrace my 40th birthday and try to shed 20 lbs and get a job ASAP. Play some fantasy baseball. Go to a Chicago Bulls game in a few weeks. And he is done with this life. And the truth is, take out his teen stardom, the wealth, and the fame……and there but for the grace of God go I.

I’m not saying I was a drug addict like Haim was. But the dangerous lifestyle in general. The drinking too much. Hanging around with some seedier people. Taking rides from idiots. Sleeping outside sometimes. Blackouts. Just stupid, frivolous behavior and jokes that wound up in a courtroom.

I’ve had my fair share of all of that. Not lately. Except for the drinking too much, I haven’t really done any of the other stuff in four years or more. But that just takes me back to age 36. Pretty damn close to where Haim wound down for good.

So his death today is just one more wakeup call. The life I am now leading is the way to go. The decisions I made 4 years ago to settle down were good ones and Haim’s death is reinforcement for that mindset. Charlie Sheen could benefit from this outlook.  

I don’t have anything more negative or mocking to say about Corey Haim. He paid a stiff penalty for the life he led. He’s even with the house again. He should be left alone or celebrated by those who cared for him. No more rips or jokes about him by me.

Now Corey Feldman is another story.


A Little From the Sports Pages

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya……….

A couple of things have happened in the sports world with a local flavor.

On Friday, the Chicago Bears signed free agent Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers to a huge contract. They also signed running back Chester Taylor away from the Minnesota Vikings where he’s been a pretty decent back behind mega-stud Adrian Peterson. Of course some over-excited news media people and a couple of the (comparitively) level-headed fans immediately stamped the moves as leading to at least a 10 win season and a return to the playoffs.

I’m not so sure about that. I like the moves, but if you go back and look at some of the earliest posts on this blog, I disagreed with most people that the acquisition of quarterback Jay Cutler was a Super Bowl guarantee. The media led that parade more than anyone else. These recent moves the Bears made definately improve the team a little more. And the cool thing that goes alongside the signing of Peppers is that Brian Urlacher also returns healthy. We played all but two quarters without him last year. I think he’s been a bit overrated the last three or four seasons, but he is still a Pro Bowler (or very close to it when healthy).

So when we line up next year, we will have two Pro Bowlers on the defensive line in Peppers and Tommie Harris. And then two of our three linebackers are Pro Bowlers with Urlacher and Lance Briggs. If just one more player steps up and has a really good year like Alex Brown with 10 sacks or Peanut Tillman with 6 or 7 interceptions, this defense could be pretty good.

And you’d think Cutler will have to improve over last season’s debacle. Devin Hester will be entering his third season as a wide receiver and has to have some growing confidence. The jackass we had at offensive coordinator is gone (Ron Turner) and we brought in a guy that knows what the hell he’s doing in Mike Martz. Factor in Matt Forte and Chester Taylor and hopefully we’ll score a little more next season. While the revamped defense is letting up less points.

But I’ll save any prediction for closer to the season after the injuries set in and the inevitable arrests and what-not. And let’s not forget that Lovie Smith isn’t the greatest coach in the world either.

My high school’s boys basketball team that I touted a few weeks ago won their Regional final over a tough Julian team. They’re now up to 26-1 and play Simeon today. It’s been an awesome season for the Lyons Township team, but I’m rather worried about going up against Simeon. I mean this team is legendary in Chicago. They’ve been a top team since I was an adolescent. That was 28, 29 years ago ! It is the alma mater of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose. When he played at Simeon just a few years ago, they won back-to-back state championships. Easily.

So the LT Lions really have their work cut out for them if this dream season is to continue. But Julian was a tough ass Chicago team too. I wish the Lyons Township team the best of luck.

Then we have spring training in full swing for major league baseball. Just a couple of more weeks and baseball is back ! We can forget all about the snow and the cold temps and enjoy a ballgame again. My fantasy baseball draft is a week from Saturday so I’ve been ranking players and studying up for a while now. And in yesterday’s mail, I received the entry sheets for a sweet homerun pool I play in. There’s usually over 11,000 people in this thing and if I were to win it just once, I wouldn’t have to worry so much about my unemployment running out.

Just once.

But these are all signs of the upcoming season and the start of actual spring. You gotta love it !

Meanwhile the Hawks are back at it after the Olympics break. After losing to the New York Islanders in New York—-which always happens—-they’ve whupped up on everybody else.

And the Bulls are still screwing around where they look great one night and then lose by twenty the next night at home. But it all adds up to about a .500 record. So my prediction from the Dirty Dozen prophecies is looking really good. I said 42-40 at best. And right around the 41-41 mark. Right now, the team is 31-31. So there’s twenty games to go and they have to go 10-10 or 11-9 to make me a genius.

Finally, we’re just about up to the NCAA tournament and all the hoopla that goes with that. Not so sure if I can play in any pools this year due to the shortage of funds. HEY…..it’s hard to play fantasy baseball, play in homerun derbies, and NCAA pools with no money, OK ?? But I’ll do what I have to to play in the baseball games.

I’ll still fill out a bracket sheet just to see how I would have done. The only bad thing is I’ll get pissed either way. If I make a bunch of horseshit picks, I’ll just be pissed at myself and how dumb I am. But even if I make a bunch of great picks where I would have dominated the pool……that would piss me off because of the earnings I could have had.

So maybe I shouldn’t even fill out a bracket this year.

Of course I will…….don’t be stupid !


Survivor has its first blindside

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya…………

The Survivor episode that aired Thursday night started off with a rather surprising scene—-but hilarious nonetheless.

Big, tough guy Coach broke down and cried like Gloria Stivic used to do on All in the Family. You know…..the whining and the sobbing and the sniffling……When he was doing it, I was laughing my ass off. This wasn’t like Boston Rob a week earlier; at first I thought it was pretty similar. But in talking to a fellow rabid fan about it……the one who wants to be Mrs. Rob Mariano……she did convince me that the two breakdowns were actually pretty different.

Rob shed a few tears after going down from exhaustion in the woods and perhaps even knocking his skull a little bit. He was treated by medics and basically experienced something a bit frightening. So then he had a short moment of anxiety and vulnerability wherein he cried just a bit and realized how challenging the game was on a person after five years removed. He then collected himself and led his team to victory in the next challenge.

Coach, on the other hand, took it very personally when he was called out on the carpet in a Tribal Council discussion. This self described warrior, with all of his jackass survival stories and ancient training methods (to stay focused and mentally tough) sobbed like a baby when he realized not everyone exactly likes him. He’s just figuring this out ?? In discussing this element of the show with a different friend, he pointed out that apparently up to that point, Coach was completely oblivious to the perceptions other people have about him. He was seemingly unaware that he is often mocked and talked about behind his back. He must have thought that people really buy into his oddball stories and admire his whole warrior mentality. What a boob.

Tyson set his ass straight. Which seemed kind of odd in itself for Tyson to give anyone a sympathetic ear and the “kid gloves” treatment. Usually Tyson is leading the mocking and insults against another player. Which is why I have liked him as a player. But this time he spoke soothingly to Coach and settled him down. You know….like you do a 5 year old who lost her Barbie doll. But he did tell him that people don’t like his stories and the whole warrior machismo thing. They don’t like the ” feathers in the hair ” look he has been doing. Tyson said he needs to just do his work and do his thing at challenges and he will be alright.

Then Boston Rob told him to ” man up ” which I originally found to be kind of funny and ironic. But my friend is right. Rob cried, but then he did ” man up “. So telling Coach to do the same wasn’t asking him to do anything that Rob himself didn’t do. And that’s all the ass-kissing I will grant Boston Rob today !!

In the reward challenge, the contestants slid across a Slip N Slide so that they could grab a specific numbered ball. They then had to make a basket with the ball in order to score a point. I noticed how everyone in the challenge had obviously been greased up so that they could slide smoothly on the Slip N Slide. So of course, just to piss me off, the villains sat out hottie Parvati for this challenge. Our old buddy Gravedigger James looked he was about to try out for the Mr. Universe title when he was all greased up. What a speciman.

Coach rebounded nicely by scoring the first point for the villains. They went up 2-0 before the heroes got on the board. In the end, Tyson proved he was tough enough by scoring the winning point for the villains. The prize they won was a couple of items they had pre-selected from the Sears catalog.

Now again, I ask you……is this Survivor or Club Med? The first group of Survivors ever were plucked down on an island and had to fend for everything. These people get flints to start fires, they get tarps and blankets and pillows for their shelter, they get hooks and lines for fishing, and now they get to select items from the freakin’ Sears catalog ??

Give me a break.

Back at camp, the villains discovered that along with their prize items, one of them contained a clue to a hidden immunity idol. Over at the heroes camp, they soon discovered a clue leading to an idol near their own camp.

In the heroes camp, several people started looking for the idol right away. There wasn’t a lot of discussion about how the situation should be handled. But in the villain camp, it was quickly decided that no one was to even look for the idol and if they did, they would put a major target on their back. And if the idol was stumbled upon, it should be thrown into the ocean and nullified.

This didn’t sit well with pot-bellied Russell….although he did keep his feelings quiet (at least vocally). However, he was very transparent in announcing that he was ” going for a walk ” and aroused the suspicion of all his tribemates. They caught him searching for the idol and he certainly earned a huge target on himself.

On the heroes side, Fireman Tom found the idol. But Amanda saw him find it and stash it on his clothing. So she let others know what she had seen. Tom became more of a marked man just because the idol equals some power. Tom himself confided that he had the idol to both Colby and JT. So there really was no secret.

The immunity challenge was about rolling a large ball with a contestant locked inside. I guess the goal is to try and make the contestant a bit disoriented and dizzy because they roll him to a gameboard where that “dizzy” contestant now instructs others how to maneuver a smaller ball thru an obstacle course. Like the old mouse in the obstacle course looking for cheese. He does this by giving ” tilt ” instructions to his blindfolded teammates.

Boston Rob was the ” caller ” inside the ball for the villains. And Fireman Tom was the caller for the heroes. The villains won the challenge.

So once again, the heroes found themselves at Tribal Council.

The idea floating around camp was to do a split vote involving Fireman Tom and Good Ol’ Boy Colby. That way, Tom would feel pressured to play the idol and it would be flushed out and taken care of quickly. However, Tom was able to convince JT that it might be in his better interests to go against the grain. Apparently, JT agreed enough with Tom and felt bad enough about flipping on Tom once already (the Stephanie vote) because he ended up voting with Tom’s bloc.

They voted out big-mouth Cirie. Which I loved. She said she ” always feels vulnerable at Tribal Council “, but I do think she was pretty blindsided. All she does is lay around camp (for the third time in her Survivor career), do little to no work, and suggest stronger players to be eliminated. She has been recognized as a shrewd, strategic player by some. But her entire gameplan is to acknowledge how weak and crappy she is in challenges and such to another weak (and typically petite female) player and suggest that they vote out one of the alpha males. It is a strategy that has worked for her in the past and been admired by some viewers.

I’m just very happy to see her go. Like Neidermayer said in Animal House, she was never anything but “worthless and weak. A Goddamn disgrace !! “

See ya, Cirie. Now drop down and give me twenty !!


Why in God’s Name Would You Cheat ??

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya………

I’ve explored a couple of angles of infidelity in some previous posts. In one of them, I just observed that for the most powerful people around, cheating on their spouse comes with the territory. If you are a Congressman or a captain of industry, there is just a sense of entitlement that comes with it. Tiger Woods himself said as much in his recent televised speech. And in another post, I took him to task personally for his indiscretions. So I don’t need to brow-beat him any further.

But there is one more aspect of infidelity that I just don’t get and can’t comprehend. And that is when a guy has one of the hottest, most desirable women in the world as his mate and still cheats on her. He wakes up next to a goddess every morning that most men would give their right arm to be with for one, single night and these men feel the need to be unfaithful. I just don’t get it.

Of course, the whole concept of being powerful and the sense of entitlement comes into play big-time here. The guys I am referring to are almost always high-profile celebrities themselves and are used to getting anything they want with few consequences. But even so, when you have landed one of the most sought-after females on the planet and are not satisfied (????)…….I just don’t get it.

Let’s consider Tiger himself. This guy has a world-class beauty in Elin Nordegren. When you see the modeling shots and the publicity shots they flash on the gossip shows as they dissect these people’s marital dilemma, what the hell is that guy thinking ? He scored one of the hottest babes in the world and he feels the need to hook up with a bunch of decidely less attractive women? If I could shoot 18 holes of golf, collect a six figure prize payout, and then go home and celebrate with that honey all night long? I’d be the envy of 99% of the globe. Apparently that isn’t satisfying enough.

How about the King of the Knockouts, Tommy Lee ? Here is a man that was married to Heather Locklear when she was in her young 20’s and one of the most smokin’ women ever. Still is in my opinion, actually. But this guy had to stray and be unfaithful and willingly gave her up. Is this man nuts? I mean, I know the rock star lifestyle with women throwing themselves at you night-after-night and the partying and the decadence……but are the sluts who hang out at the hotel of a higher quality than a 26 year old Heather Locklear? Perhaps their breakup was also fueled by drug abuse and other common issue to that lifestyle. But if he stuck it in any other chick when he had Heather waiting for him backstage, or back at the hotel room, or back home…….he’s got to be a moron.

Then he hooks up with perhaps the perfect female specimen on planet Earth in Pam Anderson. I mean, if aliens came down in a space ship and said bring us the ultimate female, I’d have to think that one of the women we would parade out would be Pam Anderson. No ?? And this guy, who had already disposed of Heather Locklear, now found something allegedly better than Pam Anderson. Again, the lure of the road and the groupies is mighty. But those skanks are better than Pamela Anderson ? No freakin’ way. Like everyone else, I’ve seen the video. Uh-uh. No way.

Who else has inexplicably cheated on one of the hottest women one can find? Well, there’s the whole Charlie Sheen/Denise Richards —–  Richie Sambora/ Heather Locklear tango. Denise Richards claims she never hooked up with Richie Sambora until he had split with Locklear and she and Heather were no longer even friends. Whatever. And I’m sure that babe-hound Sheen cheated on Richards throughout their marriage. With sleazy hookers none-the-less. And why? Denise Richards is a bit loopy, but I would worship that woman until she was six feet under. And again, Heather Locklear is at the center of a straying man. What is it with this woman ? Is she lousy in bed? Somebody please give me the opportunity to explore this theory myself !! Pretty please with sugar on top !!

Who else? The story is that actor Ethan Hawke found the family nanny more desirable than his wife, Uma Thurman. Supermodel Christie Brinkley’s husband found the need to get up with another woman. How is this possible ?

How about when British actor Hugh Grant was caught in the car with a scummy hooker when he was dating mega-babe Elizabeth Hurley ?

Will someone please pass along my number to these jilted women just in case they want to get back at these blundering idiots ?

The list goes on and on. Kobe Bryant’s wife is a hot little number. And he found an employee at a hotel to be more alluring ? Jude Law strayed on actress wife Sienna Miller. Again with the nanny. What……are these nannies fresh out of Playboy or something?

There has long been a rumor that Brad Pitt cheated on wife Jennifer Aniston with current-wife Angelina Jolie while making Mr and Mrs Smith. Now this one is a slightly different situation. Angelina Jolie is one hot piece. But to cheat on Jennifer Aniston ?  Hey, I’ve been watching reruns lately of Friends late at night and sometimes I have to think about taking a cold shower before bed. 

All I know is that I have never been with a Heather Locklear or a Denise Richards or a Pam Anderson and I still have never felt the insatiable urge to cheat. There’s a few women I know right now that aren’t supermodels or Hollywood actresses, but if they gave me the time of day, I’d never even think of stepping out on them. I’d work every day to keep them happy. Jump thru hoops. Partly because I’m not Brad Pitt or Tommy Lee. And partly because these women are just plain beauties. These women are beautiful enough that they’d instantly jump to the #1 spot on my all-time list of bedded babes. And I’d be one grateful SOB. You can believe that.

Nothing against those that have made my day in the past.

But if I were to connect with one of these women in my own little, quiet life in the near future, it would take an Alyssa Milano or someone to even turn my head. And even then, I wouldn’t.

I just don’t get these guys.

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