20 January 2004

A Few Things I Was Thinking About, Version 8.0


--Late, late last night I was flipping through the channels and came across TRL on MTV. They were having some kind of cheerleading gimmick called "Camp TRL", where the guy from "Camp Jim" and two other people judged differing high schools on their cheering skills. One of the schools was Cumberland Valley. They ended up winning.


Cumberland Valley was one of Cedar Cliff's (my high school) biggest rivals in the Midstate. They are good at everything. They always have the best football teams, the best swimmers, the best soccer teams, the best wrestling teams, etc, etc, etc. When you have over 3,000 kids to choose from for sports, this ends up happening. You get sick of reading the scores in the paper and seeing that the Eagles (how generic) had notched another on their bedpost. I watched CV beat some other team, and the girls jumped around and screamed with their fake, heartless cheerleader smiles, yelling "CV number one" and the like. So, naturally, this TRL competition annoyed me to no end.

Then I remembered three things:

1) When I went to Cedar Cliff ('95 - '96, '96 - '97, '97 - '98), we dominated CV in the sports that count. Three years--yes, three years--in a row we beat them in their bread and butter, football. Our football team went on to win a District Championship and was a Runner-Up for another. In basketball, we beat them six straight times, and we were unstoppable, going to the state playoffs twice, losing once to a Lower Marion squad that held none other than Kobe Bryant as their star forward, losing by only 9 points. So in the two Money Sports that matter (don't try to argue this, you know it's true), Cedar Cliff was a combined 9 - 0 vs. Cumberland Valley. Yay.

2) Cheerleading is not a sport, so that doesn't count anyway.

3) Cumberland Valley girls are just that--Valley Girls--and the fact that most are as cranially vacant as a desprung Bobblehead means they probably didn't know where they were or what they had done anyway.

All is right as rain.

--Climbing up the list of "Guess who got hot?" starlets is none other than little Rudy from The Cosby Show, Keisha Knight Pulliam. She's in the new Chingy video. Yowza. Who saw that coming? Between her and Tatiana M. Ali (my all-time favorite), we've got a good thing going here.

--On the flipside, what in the Christ happened to Danielle Fishel, who played Topenga on Boy Meets World? One season she was unremarkable, the next season she was absolutely on fire, and the season after that she comes back looking like she had Lawrence Taylor's shoulder pads surgically implanted. And you figure, "Oh, she'll grow back into them." Then BMW goes off the air and no one has seen her since. Can I get some Recon on this? Someone do research. Have her shoulders swallowed her neck? I want to know.

--I haven't been as able or willing to follow politics this year as I would like, but I did pay close attention to the Iowa Caucuses this week. In case you live in a cave, John Kerry won in something of an upset with 38% of the vote, John Edwards finished an astonishing second with 32%, and the favored Howard Dean came in a disappointing third with only 18% of the vote.

From what I can gather about these candidates, and this is on a very low level of really understanding these guys, it appears that Kerry, Edwards, and Wesley Clark could all do the job. I'm going to dig deeper and pay more attention in the next few weeks. All I know is I'm totally nonplussed with Bush. He'll probably end up winning again, as he and Ashcroft have everyone cuddled up under the Fear Blanket, but I'm telling you, I don't think it's good for this country.

Also, Howard Dean scares me in a very fundamental way. He is evil, I'm telling you.

--If you read and liked any of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy, then you should all be reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. Sure, it's seven books. Sure, most of them are over 400 pages. I know. But I don't read books too much, and I certainly can't get into much of the fantasy crap that's out there, and I find this amazing. Think of LOTR combined with a Western like High Noon or The Searchers and you've got TDTS. I will turn this series of books into a film franchise one day and win all kinds of awards. Mark my words.

--Great night of television last night, beginning with American Idol, which was hysterical. I just don't understand how the need to be on TV for twelve seconds outweighs the pride and dignity of a person who can't sing. Some of these people seem genuinely surprised and angered when they're told they're awful. Please help: if you know someone who can't sing and is considering trying out for this show, tell them now and spare feelings.

Wait, wait...what the f*ck am I saying? Push them towards the front of the line! Nothing better than watching someone humiliate themselves on national television.

Then we had the finale of Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet. I actually got tense watching this last one. RW Back to NY Coral nearly died of an allergic reaction to a spider bite, which was good TV. Team Road Rules prevailed by a slim margin.

For some reason, I always feel obligated to root for Team Real World. I can't tell you why. Also, here is something I'm tired of hearing people complain about:

"Why do these people keep going on these things? Don't they have a life? Why are they trying to extend their fifteen minutes of fame?"

OK, look: each of these people gets to leave for a month, go hang out somewhere beautiful where the weather is usually great, chill with a bunch of their friends, get in shape, hang rent-free in some kind of resort, be on TV a little longer, and get a chance to win $25,000+ and a car. Oh, also, they get five grand just for showing up at all.

Um...yeah, you're right, I'd reject that on principal too.

I'd like to add that my RR/RW Challenge Fantasy Team finished a robust 986 out of about 90,000 teams. Boo-yow. Bring on the Inferno!

--My early pick for the Super Bowl: New England 17, Carolina 12.

--Let's recap a few things about the NFC Championship game, shall we?

1) There's no earthly way to pin the loss on either of the Eagles' QBs. Did the WR corps have their helmets on too tight? Did the electric blue in the Carolina unis upset their synapses? Did the smell of Philly B.O. take over the Linc, causing a dimensia downfield? When you are a Wide Receiver in the NFL, you need to know how to run a pass route. It's pretty simple. The problem is that Philly has a team full of third WRs. And Freddie Mitchell. If I'm the Eagles GM, I'm going to take a serious look at trading up as far as I can to land Larry Fitzgerald.

2) My father insists that DeShaun Foster's TD run was the product of poor tackling. I disagree. He just f*cking wanted that end zone. Great run.

3) Chris Collinsworth is the biggest idiot on the planet. They guy knows all about the WR position, a bit about QB, and zero about anything else. His dumbest statements of the game were the constant reminders that, "Duce Staley comes out and plays with so much heart..."

Are you f*cking kidding me? Duce playing with heart? Please. Where the hell has this guy been all year? I'll tell you where--on the sidelines being consistently outperformed by Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook. Know why he's playing so hard? Because he's not gonna be playing in Philadelphia next year and needs a contract elsewhere. The guy is reading directly from the book of Corey Dillon. Shame on the team that buys into his performance this weekend. As soon as he has the check, he's done.

--Let's say you're coming back from the gym, tired and sore, it's cold and icy outside, you're wearing your shorts and a sweatshirt only, trying to get to your office, and you see an old woman struggling to get her car off of an ice patch.

Strand her. Trust me on this. Nothing good can happen by helping.

--Saw Along Came Polly this weekend. No new ground broken here, but Ben Stiller is always a good time and my sexual interest in Jennifer Anniston was rekindled--lotsa shots of her braless, which is a good thing. Oh yeah, they're real. Phillip Seymour Hoffman makes the movie. A good time.

I need to discuss the trailers, however, and this is a Public Service Announcement if there ever was one. If you are not a fan of scary movies (I'm not--I'm a big, big p*ssy), make sure you go into the film AFTER they're over. Why? There is a trailer for the new remake of Dawn of the Dead, wherein a Plague-like virus takes over the world, turning most humans into flesh-hungry zombies. The point is this: the trailer is absolutely f*cking terrifying. People were literally screaming in the theater. Most well-made trailer I have ever seen, but I wasn't expecting it, and I'm not going to lie, a little pee leaked out while I was watching.

Just warning you.

--If you are a guy and an O.C. fan, good news: Mischa Barton (Marissa) turns 18 on 24 January 2004. On that day you can safely masturbate whilst thinking about her without fearing that the authorities will break your door down.


--On the heels of the above, I know Hilary Duff will be hot once she turns 18, but seriously, does she really think she can sing? Simon would have driven her out of the room in nine seconds. Awful, really.

Her lead guitarist rocks, though.