Monday, June 30, 2008


June has met its ever-so-timely end and July has sprung to life, and we all know what the first day of July implies, do we not?

Canada Day!

Patriotism, nationalism; it's not like that, and there's nothing wrong with being proud. Enjoy the festive holiday.

For those abroad, make sure to have some fun. Let everyone know that today is a national holiday, and that you shouldn't be working on such a day, but you are at work because you're in a foreign country. Pass out some Canada stickers, pencils, and patches to those lucky enough to be around you.

Have a drink (or five) and feel good about a day that everyone can share. Use the phrase "Back in Canada..." to preface any forthcoming statements, and do so with pride. Several times.

Actually, it's more like there are two great days in July, because three days from now, you can take the opportunity to remind everyone how arrogantly self-centered Americans are with unabashed glee.


Bryan Metro

The Wilderness Years, Part I

This is very tricky to write. On one hand, I have a lot of very non-Jedi vitriol to spew, and I realize that it may come off as the rantings of a man consumed by hatred; on the other, I feel I haven't said much, if anything, on the bullshit I went through from the spring of '06 until the summer of '07, and it's always good to release some frustration on the Internet (because that's what the Internet's for, right?). Spoilers: the good guy wins in this tale.

And maybe that is enough. It should be.

But there's a part of me that wants to write this anyway. As I wrote yesterday, there is beauty in hatred.

So let's call this art in the same way that black and white photos of dead people and a starving dog on a leash are art.

Then, let's rejoice.

(I'm probably going to Hell. I hope it's worth it.)


In late-winter of 2002, when my girlfriend -- who, in late-fall of 2002, would become my wife -- tried to burn down my apartment, I was shocked, but I wasn't exactly surprised, if that makes any sense. I'm pretty sure I deserved at least a tongue lashing for listening to Kid A while chain smoking in my bedroom (not for listening to Kid A, though), but no man, unless he's done the most heinous of crimes -- i.e, baby rape, patricide, Idlewild -- deserves to have his place of residence lit on fire. That could kill someone!

Long story short, I got over it. I swear, my girlfriend could suck another guy's dick in public and I'd probably feel okay about it in a few days. (Not that I encourage that kind of behavior.) But when torment turns from one night into four years, it starts to wear on you...and in the end you find yourself saying, "Looks like University of Illinois!"


Word to the Lost season 3 finale: It's November 15, 2006. Crazy wife -- who, in late summer of 2007, would become my ex-wife -- takes our three-year-old daughter's swimming float, puts it atop a gas burner, and, FTW, tries to set the place on fire while my daughter* is sleeping. I intervene. I get hit just below my right eye with a pot for my bravery and have to go to the hospital for stitches. Six, to be exact. I'm still pretty. The soup in that pot was tepid, thank God, and my ex-wife throws like a girl.

Riding in a taxi on my way to the hospital, my face bloody, my favorite navy-blue Polo T-shirt slowly turning deep-purple, I wondered: Will I forever be a glutton of punishment?

Nope. And neither would the 18th Letter.

This isn't only my tale of redemption, after all.

* I think that once you try to try to murder your own offspring you are no longer, officially, a parent.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Wilderness Years (Prologue)

There is beauty in hatred. Like to hear it? Here it go:

When I was around two or so, my brother, a year older than me (which would make him three, dummy), hit me. It wasn't the first time he'd done so (nor would it be the last; far from it), but for some reason that hitpunch held meaning. I'm not sure how hard I got *snicker* cocked, but what I do remember is that my my mother was shocked, because soon afterward I asked my bro (real name: Geoffrey) to play LEGO or some shit. There's a photo of us siblings straddling scooters a few minutes afterward, me kissing my brother (Jason) on the cheek like a little Gandhi.

Point is, I'm very forgiving. To. A. Certain. Extent.

This is a true story about animosity. But it's mostly about redemption.

(My ex-wife is such a whore. Spoilers.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I post the following for, um, the following reasons:

1) Shaq doesn't kick writtens. Mad props.

2) I hate Kobe Bryant almost as much as I hate my ex-wife (althouth, on a relative scale, that's sorta like saying Mars is close to Earth).

3) I'm VERY enthusiastic about "Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes" becoming the new "All your base." When Kmart and I one day conclude our Gandalf-Balrog Mario Kart DS battle, and I emerge -- as always -- the victor, I'm going to spake such sage wisdom. Bellee dat.

4) Though not on the same level that Jadakiss and Mobb Deep's Prodigy caught it bad on Jay-Z's "Takeover," I thoroughly love the digs at Kareem and Patrick Ewing.

PS - I'm a horse.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And a Bottle of Rum

Don't let such snaky words deceive you, valued reader; you can't trust Forbes to disseminate facts amidst fiction, but you can safely assume that kismet favors those that play Mario Kart DS with such skill and, subsequently, presume that our weekend was -despite the untimely demise of one Chocolate Chip Charlie- decidedly pristine.

I won't bother to make a list of the egregious lies purveyed by recent posts, as I trust that you're savvy enough to discern that Sparkles couldn't achieve a certifiable victory over me in Mario Kart if the fate of his prized Real Doll depended upon it. And if a guy willing to bend the truth on something so sacred, you must doubt his word on all other, lesser accounts.

I'll let everything else slide, but rest assured that my Magic 8-Ball responds with a resounding 'Absolutely Not' to the query of 'Will Forbes ever achieve victory in Mario Kart?' You heard it* here first, ladies and gentlemen.

Okay, now I'm the one that's lying: most everything else you read about the weekend's events is 100% accurate,** but that's not what I wanted to talk about, anyway, and you'll have to forgive me for lashing out in such a childish fashion (keeping in mind, of course, that I'm the true, eternal champion of Mario Kart DS).

What the Forbot neglected to mention was that we had a deeply introspective discussion about hushpuppies,*** specifically those of the Long John Silver's variety, not because they 'Put a smile on my taste!' but due to the fact that LJS is the quintessential post-toping meal for the discerning man.

Fried fish, chicken, shrimp, clams, fries, hushpuppies, antelope: if you can you name -or fry- it, Uncle Jonny can serve it up to you, all the goodies bathed in a malt vinegar so pungent as to make your tartar sauce-wielding adversaries whimper in dismay.**** The Crumblies alone make a perfect meal.

Biblical Backbite

(Shortly after God introduces the intricacies of marital bliss to Adam and Eve)

Adam: Oh! Oh! That was incredible. The Holy Spirit and all that shit.

Eve: Yeah, it was good. It's the Holy Ghost, and don't go spraying it all over my breasts, okay?

Adam: Why not? That's the way God showed us how to do-

Eve: He demonstrated the act upon an unsuspecting Kodiak bear, which doesn't necessarily transfer to hu-

Adam: Now let me interrupt you! God was kind enough to show us how to perform this dainty display of utmost love right before his lone day of rest, and I intend to let him rest easy.


God: Fooled you! I decided against taking a day off, because I knew you'd be starving after all those delightful shenanigans, and I also promised my son that I'd make something actually worth his dying for. That's how much I care! Without further ado, I give thee...Crumblies!

Eve: Yeah, but there was this talking snake, see, and he already introduced me to the Chili Cheese Burrito. So, you know.

God: Bask in the light of my culinary prowess!

Eve: Wow, this is some good shit. Party in my mouth, and all that.

Adam: Hey, God, on the topic of mouths, what's the policy on them? I know you didn't do that with the bear, but help a brother out.

God: You know I can't actively encourage such things, but if Eve weren't here, and if I could wink convincingly, I'd be winking a lot right about now.

Eve: The only things going in this mouth are Crumblies. Could I have some more?

God: Sure, there are plenty to go around, and they're free with the purchase of any Variety Platter. Only $6.95!

Eve: Hold on, all I want are the Crumblies.

Adam: No, you hold on! That's a good deal. What kind of sauce could I get?

God: Tartar sauce!

Adam: You know it! Windmill high five coming at you, God.

God: That's a great idea. I'll have to sneak that into Top Gun somehow. I penned the script, by the way.

Adam: No way! Hey, while you're here, could you make a white horse with some horns?

God: How many horns?

Adam: One?

God: Done! I shall call it a unicorn.

Eve: Fuck! You know I had my heart set upon a tetracorn, Adam!

Adam: No cock, no 'corn, baby.

Modernity Calling

That probably didn't help you whatsoever, so let me make it short and salty: Crumblies are fried chunks of batter, devoid of any kind of meat but full of greasy goodness. I could, honestly, be like a dog and eat them till I vomit or die. They're that good.

I should also mention another staple of the Long John Silver's experience: the Satisfaction Bell. Attached to the wall, beside the exit of every traditional LJS restaurant was a bell and plaque that stated (more or less) 'If you were satisfied with your meal, make sure to ring the bell!' and let me tell you, I can't recall the number of times I rang that bell like Hop Sing rang the triangle at dinnertime on Bonanza.

Personally, I think that a bell should be available at more places, and not just restaurants. In consideration of the decidedly preferential treatment I received from Sparkles's dog during my last visit to Casa del Forbes, for example, I hereby propose the installation of said bell on the premises. You know I'd be ringing it, and I don't think I'd be the only one to do so.*****

Nothing but the facts, ma'am.

McGruff the Crime Dog

* Veracity unfettered!

** The girl I made out with wasn't fifteen, she was fifteen going on thirty. That's the main difference between idealjetsam and myself.

*** Pushhuppies!

**** If you prefer tartar sauce to malt vinegar, statistics show that you probably enjoy raping the elderly as well. No big thing, right? Oh, and if you employ both tartar sauce and malt vinegar for your order, then you're not bisexual but you do enjoy transsexual pornography. Change your life, ye sinners.

***** Just like fried food, waking up to a dog making a nest out of one's crotch has a profound effect upon impressionable youth.

Politics and Bullshit

I wasn't an activist or anything as a youth, but I had some strong opinions, usually bred by the music I listened to and every young man's frustration with all things authoritarian. These days, the only political conviction I have is that Obama should be the next U.S. president because he's a fan of The Wire and he smokes squares, which is why it bugs the pluperfect shit out of me every time I'm assaulted with propaganda both political and religious (and, in the case of Internet fanboys, geek-infested). Just let me live my life, Comanche. I love to hear opinions, but cool it with the vitriol and the anger. Sorry if I ruined your Black Panther party.

Apparently DMC of Run-DMC is in Seoul, and at a press conference he was asked about his stance on the US-Korea beef issue. As can be expected of a has-been 80s hip-hop icon*, dude didn't know what the fuck was going on. But the Korean press kept, um, pressing him, until a PR agent informed him of the issue, to which his tougher-than-leather response was "I don't have beef with anybody!" or something along those lines.

Kudos to Darryl McDaniels for the quick-witted response, which I'm sure the cocksucker fraternity that is the Korean press didn't get; but what vexes me is why he'd have to address the issue in the first place, like he's Donald Rumsfeld or some shit. I'm afraid this insanity is spreading to the point where celebrities will come to Korea only to be barraged with political questions, and what's so perplexing is that it seems the Korean media doesn't realize the harm they're causing by accosting any American who happens to step foot in Korea with such idiocy. I'm sure DMC was thinking Jesus, what's with the hostility? Hopefully someone took him to an anma afterward to help him relax; and, thankfully, he wasn't asked to wear a hanbok. Yet.

Welcome to Planet Korea, where the locals assume you're just as passionate about their latest silly "controversy" as they are. The American beef issue runs deeper, but not to most of the general populace, and certainly not to America's. The U.S. is forever the heel, and it doesn't take much to get those WWE-style "you suck" chants started. All it takes is a little coaxing from biased-as-fuck interest groups; which is ironic, because as vehemently as U.S. beef is being protested against, most of the protesters are being herded like cattle. But, like me as a lad considering joining the Nation of Islam because Chuck D sounded like he was pissed the fuck off and had found a solution**, eventually these idiots are going to wake up to the sobering reality that YOU CAN GET ALONG FINE EATING BEAN SPROUTS AND CHICKEN ANUSES. It has worked for me.

Maybe it was my upbringing, but I've long believed that you shouldn't under any circumstance whine about food. It's food! It provides you with energy to continue living. It's not as though if U.S. beef imports come to Korea all of a sudden denizens of the peninsula will start gnawing on each other's grey matter and frothing at the mouth, although that would be pretty cool and I secretly wish for it to happen; no, all these bovine asshat protesters and their puppet masters need to do is EAT SOMETHING ELSE. Like raw squid. Or burnt baby flesh.


I do editing. I'm an editor. And today when I wrote "Myanmar" some firebrand proofreader shot back with "Burma," underlined in red.

Give me a break.

* Was that too harsh? Clearly, I have some issues with Run-DMC. (Mostly with Run, to be fair.)

** Got a woman C-O to call me a copter. She tried to get away, and I popped her.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Growing Old

I've been stewing for the last two hours on a post about consistency, brought on by the Celtics blowout(comb) and how everyone loves a quick fix, no one expects a dynasty, and why Outkast dropping five classics in nine years is, like the Jordan Bulls, something I'm proud to have been around for; but the more I think about it the more it seems insurmountable*. (Kinda like that Celtics lead in Game 6**. ) Because -- and here's the part where I open up and reveal my soul -- I'm inconsistent like Jesus made chairs. Who the hell am I to judge? Confidence breeds consistency; and, as previously reported, so does conflict. I'm more the former than the latter, but until Dr. Phil picks my brain(s) and I get a proven mathematical formula, I'm not making a definite conclusion.

Here's what I do know: time will reveal. Here's what I know more: time will mask. Because, fuck me for living, tonight I actually had the impulse to revisit Outkast's phenomenally disappointing 2006 album, Idlewild. I actually made an Idlewild booty call. My bad.

Bottom line, I know nothing. Perhaps you've heard.

* I can't believe I spelled that right.

** In case you can't tell, there's a LOT of schadenfreude*** going around at Chez Sparkles right now.

*** Jesus, what has come over me? I'm suddenly a mutant with the uncanny power to spell little-used words.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Every Day is Fathers' Day

I miss you, too, Rainbow.

Word to Dan Ugrath (She Tried to Shake Her Butt, I Rolled My Window Up)

(I had to cut short last night's post because I felt like it. Here's the rest of the adventures of Dan Ugrath and Billy Hogarty. With guitars.)

4:50 -- Apparently I black out in the BK bathroom. When I get back to the lounge, Kmart is tongue kissing a 15-year-old girl. I have to say, they are his kryptonite. Mine? Chicks with snaggleteeth. Word to Jewel Kilcher and Reon Kadena.

5:11 -- Our hangovers staved off by variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (me) and Avian influenza (K-Hot), we stumble back to Chez Sparkles, but not before we stop in at the GS25 for some tall boys. The 15-year-old (I swear) cashierclerkwhateverthefuckyoucallsomeonewhoworksataconveniencestore winks at Kmart and gives him two vodka coolers, one lemon, the other blueberry.

5:30 -- Apparently we're both fairies, because we drink the vodka coolers and leave the beers hanging.

5:35 -- Time for some music. Given the evening's theme, I'm tempted to throw on Slick Rick's "Teenage Love," but instead I opt for The Best of Masta Ace.

5:41 -- My tank is on empty. I need sleep like [OUT-OF-NOWHERE POLITICAL RANT WARNING!] people need to realize the situation in Darfur. Seriously, if that tragedy were happening in, say, Genosha, the American media would get off its fucking ass and make people aware. Also, my hopes and prayers to the families in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I once banged a chick from Cedar Rapids. I hope she's okay. She had some nice cans.

11:43 a.m. -- Why isn't my mouth dry, my head pounding (my scrotum itchy)? Where's my hangover? This is like a Twilight Zone episode. Then again, for me, what isn't?

11:52 -- Kmart and his bitch (my dog) wake up. K-Heezy's okay, too! WHAT'S THE CATCH? TELL ME, STRANGE GODS!

12:36 -- After some afternoon delight, if you catch my drift, we head out for eats. Subway = tuna sandwich heaven. Kmartian, however, still needs to feed the beast, so we stroll over to Mister Donut, or, as I like to call it, Mr. Dontnut. I'm so witty.

1:13 -- Jesus, how long does it take to order a fucking donut? There are three clerkscashierswhateverwordtomorrisseythatjokeisntfunnyanymore and the place is basically empty, but still it takes forever to get 2 FUCKING DONUTS*. Mister Donut can lick the balls. If you're scoring at home, that's two The Great Adventures of Slick Rick references so far, and I'm in the mood for a third.

1:39 -- Back at my place, and it's time for a DS showdown! We start things off with Mario Party.

2:22 -- Okay, I get my ass handed to me, but it was my fist time. The only times I've ever done spectacularly well at anything my first go-round were when I a) lost my virginity, b) played fantasy basketball, and c) had a child. (, not so successful.) Toad is such a shit pebble.

3:10 (to Yuma) -- Mario Kart. This probably deserves its own post, so let's just say that my comeback is up there with Mavs-Heat Game 3, Celtics-Lakers Game 4, and Mordor vs. Middle-earth. My opponent might claim otherwise, but I won that shit fair and square. And tie goes to the runner.

4:00 -- Just to prove that it wasn't a fluke, I goad Kmart into a rematch. And despite my animosity toward Toad, he's the meaning in my life, he's the inspiration. Except when he isn't. I make a comeback of sorts, but I can't topple Kmart and his fucked-up dinosaur. Still, Donkey Kong catches a bad one. So at least I have that going for me. Which is an overused film quote.

5:01 -- Kmart calls it a day. I call it a draw. We will, in the future, settle the score once and for all. There. Can. Be. Only. One.

And when that day arrives, I'm gonna treat him like a prostitute**.

5:46 -- Finally! Time for some hentai!

* Just so there's no misunderstanding, the donuts weren't copulating. At least I don't think they were.

** The trifecta!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Word to Dan Ugrath (The PK is Still Free)

Last night I met up with K-Hot, aka 'The Machine,' pka Man's best friend's best friend. Bastard that I am, I had promised to see Iron Man with the gentleman when the film was released. That didn't happen*. However...I WOULD NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE. The Incredible Hulk would unite us.

Marvel at our glory.

7:53 p.m. -- My younger, more handsome, taller, and more adept at throwing knives half-brother finally shows up. He says he was delayed by the train. I say he's delayed by RPG video games. (Sorry, action-based RPG video games. And Korean lemon-beer adverts.)

7:59 -- I'm convinced that the Korean economy has gotten this far because ELEVATORS ARE A GREAT PLACE TO MEET WOMEN. Seriously, can a 10-floor building WITH A FUCKING MULTI-FLOOR MOVIE THEATER AT THE TOP get more than two elevators? Please?

8:09 -- Tickets in hand, I suddenly remember that I have a Lotte points card. The tellercashierwhateverthefuckyoucallsomeonewhosellsticketsatacinema looks nonplussed. If I had said, "Remember when I long-dicked you and broke your ovaries?" she wouldn't have looked more shocked. She tells me that the theater is on the tenth floor, and that I should take the escalator up. Her eyes, however, tell me that Hell is only a window-jump away. I ponder.

8:19 -- With time to murder, we -- with age comes wisdom -- go for burritos at one Dos Tacos. K orders a chili burrito, I order a refried bean-chicken badboy. Someone dies. I'm not saying who.

9:00 -- Cory Feldman is discussed. At length.

9:40-11:34 -- The Incredible Hulk makes me glad I was born. I'll save the gushing for a PKast (because I'm lazy like that), but some things need to be said:

1) I sorta like living in a world where the director of The Transporter makes a better Hulk film than Ang Lee. Matter of fact, I think this should be a trend. Let's have Paul WS Anderson direct The Ice Storm. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Penelope Cruz.

2) As I've mentioned before to my life coach, Superman 2 is the best true comic book movie, but The Incredible Hulk comes close. Proof? Michael K. Williams, pka Omar, makes a cameo. As Omar. If Tony Stark at the end of the film is a geek orgasm, Omar is the money shot. Spoilers.

3) Now that's a fucking score.

12:03 a.m. -- Chinese beer and Tennessee sipping whisky: two great tastes that taste great together.

12:04 -- Conversation topics include the sublimeness of The Incredible Hulk, Phil Collins, Brett Easton Ellis, and octopus anuses.

1:04 -- Two sandpaper salesmen, in Seoul on business for five days, approach us and buy us drinks. I AM NOT KIDDING. We talk about Star Wars. We drink whisky. I smile every time the Phantom Menace is disparaged. Someone dies. Spoilers.

3:16 -- We stumble into Ho Bar CVII (it's next to Kukmin Bank in the year 2706). The staff is sweeping the floor so dexteriously that it looks as though they're practicing curling. I hit the head, K-Hot eats nuts**, and we agree that neither of us belong in such an establishment.

3:23 -- We stumble into Ho Bar CVIII (it's in your soul, in the places your lung brush can't reach). The staff is tired. Someone was probably murdered earlier. I only hope it wasn't Chocolate Chip Charlie.

4:18 -- The BK lounge, remarkably, is open! What are the odds? There's an old guy who looks dead in the corner. K-Hot kills my high by mentioning that he saw the old man shift in his seat. I. Am. Disappointed.

Like a motherfuck.

This is the end of side A. Pleasu take out the cassette and...

* because I'm easy like Sunday morning and shoplifting.

** Write that on his epitaph!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Leave me alone, I gotta make a free throw here."

The other week I was out drinking after work when I met a guy from Chicago (the city, not the band), so I put out my feelers.

"You must be happy about getting the number one pick."

A tricky volley, because, had he not been a basketball fan, that awkward look of non-recognition is uncomfortable for both parties. To wit, the following week -- same day, same bar -- I met a guy from Dallas (the city, not the 80s drama) and said, "So, you must be a Mavs fan," and the uneasy silence that came next made him look down and me embarressedly reach for my cigarettes. (If he'd responded positively to my query, I was all set to twist his nipple and call Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki queens. To quote David Aames, "The little things...there's nothing bigger, is there?")

But this amiable -- and that's an understatement -- Chicagoan's face instantly lit up. He gushed about how hype he was that the Bulls got the first pick, went on about how disappointing the season had been and how at least the No. 1 pick made up for it a little, then said to me (I had already explained that I'm from Toronto), "So you must be a Raptors fan."

The truth is that I care about the Raptors as much as I care about my cousins when I phone home and talk to my folks, which is to say that, while I wish them the best and hope they're doing well, their success doesn't particularly fill me with elation, nor do their hardships fill me with sorrow. The Raptors are my extended family, and they have been ever since I moved to Korea eight years ago. Maybe one day, when I return to the storied stomping grounds of my youth, I'll reconnect with the NBA franchise that buoyed my hometown b-ball fantasy when it was inaugurated in 1995, but until then, I'm a man of worldly pleasure -- what Free Darko refers to as "liberated fandom," but, in my case, minus the beatnik over-analyzing. I follow teams whose players make me love the sport of basketball, and I may lose my Canadian citizenship for this, but I'll say it anyway: the Raptors are dull. At least to me. Chris Bosh is a gifted athlete, but he's not that fun to watch. And watching five white guys run the floor makes me wary that I haven't walked into a Nazi time-warp.

Of course I didn't say all of that when the question was asked of me. Instead, I replied that the Miami Heat are my favorite team (and that only hinges on Dwyane Wade staying there...and staying healthy*), but that I also dig the Hornets, Suns, Nuggets, and some other teams, based on the players I like, the teams' coaches (and in the case of the Nuggets and Celtics despite their coaches), and their style of ball.

Heady stuff, I know; and I'm aware that if I were to like enough teams, a little or a lot, I'd be stepping into "everybody wins!" territory, but fuck it. In the 19 years that I've been an avid basketball follower, a total of six teams have won the title, and the only one that really felt meaningful was the Heat beating the Mavs in six two years ago. Can I live?

Let it be said that this year's playoffs, despite a so-called NBA renaissance during the regular season, have been dogshit**. This Celtics-Lakers Finals was supposed to -- tricky, tricky, Mr. Stern -- make people forget all that, but things don't always go according to plan. (I should know: I predicted that Thirstin Howl III would blow up like Eminem.)

You can't take two teams that were both put together -- by shady measures, no doubt -- in a year and expect them to clash in an epic battle à la Devastator and Superion. That shit is contrived. Water and oil, it looks pretty on the surface -- but there's little depth. I'll defend Kingdom of the Crystal Skull until I die, because the sentimentality of the film was more than skin-deep. This Celtics-Lakers Finals? Like me and my schizophrenic team allegiance, it's logical; but damned if it doesn't feel a black man marrying a white woman. (Sarcasm never works on the Internet.)

If I have a (leather)vested interest in the Finals, it's that I want KG and Ray Allen to get rings (Pierce, eh), and that I'll probably choke myself to death if Kobe gets another. Boston -- the team, not the band -- need this like I need new T-shirts. I keep reading about how Kobe has changed his ways, how he's such a great teammate, but does anyone actually believe that shit? Call me a church-going ninny for not being able to separate basketball from real life, but even if Kobe is the dagger to which the hopes and dreams of other teams are struck (and he's not), he's still a superlative prick who only gets along with his team now because he's 1) afraid of his own legacy, and 2) surrounded by foreigners who lack the cultural awareness required to realize what a cock he is.

In that way, I suppose he and I have something in common. But if I were diagnosed with cancer and had to share the same hospital room as Mamba, I'm confident we wouldn't trade bagels or whistle the Great Escape theme.

But I digress. Once upon a time, I wrote the words "1999 was a good year for basketball," the first sentence of Memory Lane, my extremely outdated -- and lie-filled -- series of posts about how I fell in love in Korea. My marriage might be dead, thank God, but that opening sentence lives on, for 1999 really was a good year for a Knicks fan. When the Heat won the title two years ago, it was satisfying, but moreso for the games they fought back from than for Game 6. Similarly, the Knicks didn't win the title in 1999, but, really, they did. At least for me.

See, it may be a sissy thing to settle for a one-game victory, but when that game is so epic in comparison to whatever happens next, and when it comes against a rival, it's hard to top. I was there when Jordan did the double-handed layup in Game 1 of the '91 Finals; I was there when Only Built 4 Cuban Linx dropped; and I was there when The Undertaker slammed Mankind through the top of a steel cage.

Transcendent moments, all. But nothing can compare to the night when Larry Johnson hit the 4-point play.

I said it at the time, and I'll say it again: even if the Knicks never win an NBA title, that moment will live forever.

* and, coincidentally, not being traded to Chicago for the No. 1 pick, a trade that has to be a fucked-up rumor, because a) Miami has the second pick, and right now it looks like the Bulls are going to take Rose, which would give the Heat a gift-wrapped Michael Beasley, and b) the idea of trading Wade and giving the Bulls the No. 2 pick is so patently ridiculous that I won't even entertain the idea.

** I know not many share my fond memories of the 2006 season, but those playoffs were the best I've seen.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The PK 27 -- The Last Song

If PK were a fantasy sport, I'd be a deadbeat manager. I haven't been in the zone for a long damn time, but rest assured that it hasn't been over some bullshit like last year (Are you dead or are you sleeping? God, I hope that you are dead). New life, new job, new Wii, new woma/en; all add up -- along with Lost, Stephen King's Duma Key, and Japanese erotic films/adult pictures -- to little ProKlivity.

And I wish I could say things will turn around starting now, but who would I be kidding? PK is funny for me -- it's a very manic thing. I post when I'm elated (and when I can't I wish I could), when I'm pissed off about something (Crystal Skull IS a good movie), and when I'm drunk -- mostly when I'm drunk -- and feel like espousing dumb-ass pseudo-psychology (you should thank me for not writing an essay on Monday about how pathetic it is that drama, from Shakespeare to Scorsese, can't be effective without someone dying*).

These days, however, I just don't feel that itch. I thought it would come a-callin' after I took one of my frequent hiatuses, but it didn't. I'm a firm believer that

(I have enough sperm for every woman on this planet)

conflict and torment breed art, so perhaps contentedness has crushed my creativity, but, at the end of the day, fuck it, I'm happy (except when I'm not).

You can't squeeze blood from a stone. I can't lick your funky emotions with my tongue in some pussy.

But if I ever need an IV of inspiration, if only for a short time, it comes in the form of the above song. It's a song to drink flat beer to at 8:30 a.m. after a night of hard drinking and BK lounge exploits; it's a song -- word to Jimmy McNulty -- to kick your car to; and it's a song that never fails to get those juices flowing. The creative ones and the nostalgic ones.

And the basketball ones. Fuck the Lakers**.

* All I could come up with at the time was the film Ghost World, which isn't fucking dramatic at all (though it is a good movie). Someone should make a list...

** I hope no one remembers me writing after the Gasol "trade" that LA can't beat the Spurs. Or that NO would finish first in the West. Or that I was once married.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hexagonal Femininity

Wal-Mart had always been the place to get what a person needed.

Megan whimsically pushed her empty shopping cart through the aisles of the sparsely populated superstore, her chest and arms draped atop the handlebars, dodging product displays and random passersby as needed. Drunks and misty-eyed loners notwithstanding, Independence Day was the perfect time to shop; one could peruse products as they pleased, and avoid employee interaction with ease. Megan passed the confectionary aisle even though she knew that she would, inevitably, return to procure milk chocolate of the basest quality. There was a natural order to everything, but not really; she just liked to do things in the sequence that they resurfaced within her mind. It was a matter simplicity, really.

She came to a halt amidst the dairy section and scanned for the cooler that contained plastic containers of milk. Having located it, she tugged upon the stainless steel framed glass door and leaned in to inspect the merchandise. Rows upon rows of Anderson Erickson products were laid out before her roaming eyes, as was the ubiquitous array of Great Value house brand crap. In an apathetically fastidious fashion Megan twisted the caps free from the first and third jugs of milk present in each column and as each cap broke free of its plastic mooring, she made certain that it would look, to the careless eye, that nothing was amiss. The fail-safe mantra of step inside, walk this way, you and me babe, hey hey gently pressed outward from between her lips as she did so, and as the moisture condensed it became a miasmic cloud of pale blue. Same old, same old.

Backtracking, she rolled through the candy aisle and swept up a mammoth sack of Snickers miniatures into her left hand. Megan wasn't in a thieving mood, so she dropped it into the once-vacant cart and proceeded into the main thoroughfare, barely dodging a pallet of Cool Ranch Doritos. Under dissimilar circumstances, she would have snagged one of them, too, but she had a date with the Lawn & Garden department. Time was not of the essence, but her ability to focus was prone to wane with so many diversions present, so she kept moving in steady, elongated paces.

As Megan made her way through the disheveled electronics department, a pimply twentysomething with a disastrously overgrown mullet passed by, pushing a mop and yellow bucket with one hand, and holding a walkie talkie in the other. From the transceiver blared the distorted, scratchy order of Get over to dairy right now, Chet. We have a milk emergency to which the kid responded "Milk emergency my ass. I have a break in five." His response was in stark contrast to the smiley faces that adorned each and every clearance item within the store, but Megan still tried to empathize with Chet, although the best she could manage was to keep pushing her cart along casually.

Lawn mowers, pruning supplies, hoses, tool sheds, special pink tool belts for ladies; what the fuck ever, Megan just came for one thing, and that was long-handled shovels. They needn't be the best that money could buy, they just had to be suitable for the forthcoming task. Shuffling through the selection, Megan took note of one particular model, if only because it reminded her of the stereotypical gravedigger shovel, and that was the most appropriate design imaginable. She didn't care what the shaft was made from, be it oak, fir, mahogany, or any other kind of lumber that she had no inclination to ascertain. What concerned her was -snap- satisfactory durability and, having stepped into the shaft to snap off the metallic component, Megan lifted the fractured end to inspect its splintered, ragged fringe. Perfect.

Megan pushed the shopping cart through the vacant checkout lane (Wal-Mart was, after all, essentially devoid of customers on an otherwise festive national holiday) and began to unload her cache of merchandise upon the rolling conveyor belt, much to the chagrin of the cashier. The young man at the station looked a tad perturbed by Megan's actions, as if his job entailed nothing of the sort.

"You don't have to put those shovels up on the belt. I can just check one of them with the scanner gun and charge you for six. Okay?" There was apprehension in the man's voice, and Megan caught a whiff of his breath, which reeked of Combos (Cheddar Cheese Pretzel, to be precise), Surge, and sexual frustration all rolled into a single, taut package. Even so, the man had soft, weary eyes; eyes that were tired of working the evening shift, especially on Independence Day, and they weren't malignant like that Taco Bell motherfucker Megan had encountered just thirty minutes prior, so she'd be diplomatic about the affair.

"Sorry. I have a few items underneath this junk." It was partially true, as she did, technically, have an economy-sized bag of Snickers miniatures tucked beneath the six shovels. The young cashier glanced down at her cart, shrugged, and rang up each piece as lackadaisically as minimum wage dictated.

"That's a gentleman for you," a voice behind Megan uttered, and she turned back to see a balding man in his forties that held a gallon of skim milk in one hand, and a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in the other. He smiled, almost sheepishly, and Megan smirked in response, if only because he wore a Hawaiian T-shirt, and because she thought him lucky to have picked one of the gallons of milk of which she hadn't loosened the cap. If his appearance was slightly amusing to Megan, she could only assume that this other customer thought the same of her respective style. Fair enough. "A bit hot for a pullover?" the man enquired out of curiosity, and Megan struggled to think of an adequate reply.

"Ladies don't sweat, and I don't perspire. Trade you for that kickin' tee?" The man smiled and shook his head in silence, gently acquiescing that the conversation had reached its demise. Megan returned to see the cashier leaning over, attempting to reach down into her cart to remove the back of chocolate treats. She picked the bag up to assist him, accompanied by a quaint apology.

"No problem," he replied. "The total is eighty-two-oh-five." She took five twenty dollar bills out from her pocket and handed them to the cashier. As the young man counted change, an even younger employee (most likely a high school student, judging by his gawky movements and short, bleached hair) wandered over to bag her items, which to Megan seemed totally absurd, considering that her purchase, in its entirety, consisted of six long-handled shovels and a fucking bag of Snickers.

This fourth individual peered at her with an almost feeble curiosity, apparently spellbound by the seemingly exotic creature standing before him, and muttered "Do you want your items bagged, ma'am?" with a voice that cracked -and shattered- like the porcelain cup she once threw into the girls' bathroom during middle school. Megan stifled the urge to laugh, and quelled the languid desire to kick him in the kneecap.

"No, thanks. I've got that covered?" she asked with rising intonation, as if it were a query befitting the situation. The boy simply shrugged (much like the cashier before him) and tossed the shovels and chocolates back into the shopping cart, trying to act cool while doing so. Having received her change, Megan thanked the cashier and began to push her cart away, but the bag boy halted her progression with a vapid inquiry.

"Ma'am?" The boy looked completely apologetic, so Megan paused her exit. "Sorry to bother you, but, um" the boy faltered, as if he struggled to get whatever it was that troubled his mind off of his chest (so to speak), "well, first, ah, I really like your bandanna."

Oh fuck me. I can't seriously be expected to put up with this shi-"It's a Japanese flag, actually." The boy looked genuinely enlightened, and this confounded one Megan Erickson greatly.

"Really? That's awesome! And those blue highlights look great." Despite her reservations, Megan approved of the lad's taste, however incorrect he had been in his assumptions.

"Jay!" the cashier shouted as he helped the older man with his milk and Cheerios. "Ask her if she needs any help, or leave her alone."

The bag boy winced, asked Megan if she needed any help and, by virtue of his insatiable desire for both curiosity and attention from women, inquired as to the purpose of buying six shovels. "Just some digging" was her inevitable reply. The boy didn't push the issue any further, but continued his previous line of questioning.

"One more thing. Sorry, sorry," he belched out, eager to satiate his raging, hormonal inquisitiveness, "but those blue highlights, how do you get dark hair to turn blue like that? I mean..." the boy trailed off, unsure of how to express his disbelief. Megan thought about this for a second, but she really didn't think, nor did she feel or search for an answer; it was just, unabashedly, there.

"Tak's place. Tak's time."

The boy nodded, knowingly. "So it costs a lot of money, then? Like something to do after a refund check, I bet."

The balding man, now on his way out, stopped to correct the boy. "No, I think she's talking about those things that you stick into a bulletin board. Something in the metal, right? And thanks for not bagging my groceries, kid."

What Megan really wanted, right then, was a piece of chocolate. Or a cigarette. Or a machete.


Miaowara Tomokato

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Fear the Night

When the world is ruled by violence, and the soul of mankind fades, the children's path shall be darkened by the shadows of.......

.....the Neon Maniacs!

Seriously, what am I doing with my life? I could be out there, making great movies such as this. Who's with me?

Pamela Springsteen, that's who.