Saturday, January 30, 2010

I meant to say this yesterday

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know. 

For those who don't, I will cut to the chase.  I got a new job.  I'm changing careers.  I'm starting anew.

For those who have followed me since I began my blogging journey, you caught me at a time where I wasn't in love with working in retail.  You have followed that progression through the years until now.  I have written about customers of retail, employees of retail, and if you knew where to look, you will also know that this blog has bitten me in the ass.  I'm glad to say that it is all over now. 

Yesterday, I wrote a 2 line letter to my managers.  This is my official resignation of my posistion at [employer redacted].  My last day of work will be February 13, 2010. 

To say it felt strange to resign from a position I really loved would mean I was saying that writing with my feet is neat and legible. 

It was weird.  My assistant manager was shocked.  My colleague who was there was shocked.  Everyone was shocked.

I was the leader of the pack to some.  I was a niusance to some.  In the end, I'm glad to say I got along well with everyone. 

At the end of the day, I sat down with my manager.  I could see that she was trying to hold herself together.  She as where I was going.  Its a question that she allowed to ask, due to the non-compete clause I signed.  I told her. 

She said she was really happy for me.  She also said, that she appreciated my two week notice, I am only required to work through Sunday the 31st.  I would be compensated my unused vacation time.  She said it would give me time to spend with my family and get my head in my new role.  I could see the tears shrink wrapped to her eyes on my way out. 

To say that I appreciate it would be a severe understatement.  Its like saying that Tone Loc WASN'T a musical genius.  I mean does it get any better than funky cole medina or wild thang?  You're singing it now, I can hear ya.

So as I have stated before, this year is my year of change.  My changes happen because I am making moves to make them happen.  No longer will I sit idle and allow others to shape my career.  I will shape my career. 

Here is to saying good-bye to all I have worked with.  We will stay in touch. 

Here is to new beginnings. 


*this blog was composed and posted on my Droid® so excuse any blaring spelling errors, I couldn't find my spell check.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Family can be such a pain [Guest Post from Vodka Logic]

Hello Everyone, 

Last week I said I gave my brain a day off.  Well it really enjoyed it's vacation, so let's hope it return tomorrow.  Until then, here is a post from a good blogger buddy of mine from Boston.  She asked that she not be linked for fear her family might find her.  If you would like her link, just shoot me an e-mail


The hollow shell of a body that is sorely lacking it's brain


Firstly thanks Adam for letting me use your blog to vent some painful feelings. As the poem says I have been hurt yet again by my family. More specifically my sisters. For some reason I don't fit in, am not welcome in their lives. I have been through this with them before and was told I was selfish and one even called me offensive. That is one comment I can not shake. I do not have the same sensibilities, beliefs even interests as my sisters. I used to but things change... 

 They have read my blog, they separated themselves from it, canceling any connections they had with it. Apparently a few sharp words and naughty poems makes me offensive and a risk to be associated with. [I kid you not]

I have put my heart on my sleeve with some of my poems and they have never asked if I was ok, did I want to talk. [but I am selfish]

Anyway the following poem is what came out of me this morning. I don't need any more drama so Adam said he would let me post on his blog.

Pain is the only way.
That makes me write,
What I want to say.

Here I am alone again,
The black sheep strikes.
A broken chain.

I'd like to say I do not care,
I'm just not able.
All I say will seem unfair.

I'll hear the flack,
Be chastised
Told it's me that is slack.

Swatted away from above
Mistreated by family
Whom I love.

Grind it down into the dirt,
And bury it deep
I'll take the hurt.

My pain and sorrow
It will fade,
Lucky for me there is tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

9 lists of 8

Because I am coming off a hectic weekend, and 2 relaxing days off, I gave my brain a day off.

My new found Canadian Buddy, Will tagged me in a game of lists.  9 lists of 8.  They are predetermined lists. But I need a break for now.  At the end, you get a chance to play along.

8 TV Shows I watch:
Law & Order: SVU-This is where I get all my knowledge on crime.
Myth Busters- I love how nerdy Adam and Jamie are to get to the bottom of Urban Legend
Glenn Beck- I know I know. But like I have tweeted before, part thinks he is full of shit, the other thinks he might be right.  I hope he is full of shit, but something tells me he isn't.
Local News on WKYC-TV-When it comes to the news in Cleveland, I turn to our NBC affiliate.  The weather reports are pretty accurate, but they don't scare me with their 8 million Doppler Radars.  
Top Chef-I am not what you would call a foodie, and frankly I hate the word.  I am a guy who likes to cook and likes to eat.  I don't criticize restaurants, I don't tell you to stop going there.  If I write about it; it was good.  If I am quiet, then I think it sucked, but I am not so entrenched in my opinions of a place to tell you that it sucked.  Top Chef really let's me spend time with Audrey and show her food is something to get excited about.
ESPN First Take-Although I am not your typical guy, I am still a guy.  I like to see what they are saying about my Browns
Iron Chef America-Michael Symon is from Cleveland.  I always watch when he is on.
Diners, Drive In's, and Dives-This season is featuring 7 or 8 Cleveland area restaurants.  Check that show out.

8 Favorite Places to Eat & Drink
Bar Symon-Goes without saying I like Symon.  He's a Cleveland dude.  The fact he opened a restaurant in my home town, I think it goes without saying I love the place and will support it in anyway I can.
The Greenhouse Tavern-Although I have only been there once, I loved the wings, beef tartar, and wine.  It may be a 'green' restaurant, but political buzzwords aside, it's fantastic.  It's run by two great people Jonathon Sawyer, and Chef's Widow.
B-Spot-Symon's new burger joint.  I love burgers.  I love Symon.  Enough said.
Swenson's-See B-Spot but strike the word Symon and just plug in burgers. 
Fiesta Jalapeno- The Mexican joint across the street. Love it.
Melt-Coming up on Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives on February 8th.  Grilled Cheese and Beer.
My Kitchen-I have made plenty of great meals at home, but I love it when Wifey and I are in the kitchen together, but it doesn't happen too often.
My Mom's house-Who doesn't love their mom's cooking?

8 Things I look forward to:
Sexy time with the Wifey-Do I really need to explain that?
Eventually a 'by' line in a published book, article, magazine and then getting a check made to my name as a result.-C'Mon, I've been published 3 times, but never got paid for it! 
Comments on my blog posts-A bloggers wet dream is getting a shit ton of comments.  Don't make me beg.
The end of my work days-Work has been tough recently and I usually like the overtime, but as of late, I love going home to the family as fast as possible
Getting my car fixed-Hopefully it will be fixed by the end of the week
Addison being potty trained-Changing diapers is shitty, and yes, that pun was intended. 
Change-for the good.  It may include, but is not limted to, becoming independently wealthy, getting a full time gig that will pay me to write, having smart kids that will take care of me when they get rich.
A visit from a certain blogger who started this whole list thing-Vodka Logic is coming to town!

8 Things that happened yesterday:
Baby woke up a million times, thus trumping something I was looking forward to-2 guesses as to what that was.
I called to see how much it was going to cost to fix my car-I really wish I was more mechanical to know when I was getting raped up my ass.  At least the inmates in prison can see it coming.
Watched a ton of news-I love the news.
I forgot to put out the garbage for the garbage truck for the 2nd week in a row-I have a feeling it is going to get stinky.
I did the dishes-I am domesticated.
I read a lot of blogs-But only commented on a few.  
Laughed- I seem to do this a lot when I am not at work
Watched the Wifey sleep- And I tried to figure out what she sees in me.  She is so much cooler than me.

8 Things I love about Winter:
The Cold-The Wifey gets closer when it is cold.  That's why the house is kept at 52 during the summer.
Snow!-Although I haven't skied in years, I always watch the ski forcasts.
Cozy fires-I need a fire place
Emergency Snow Warnings-It means it's going to be a fun day behind the wheel.
It's when Addi was conceived-We did it a lot that winter.  
The hush on the street when the snow falls-The snow on the ground just mutes all the noise cars make
The last day of cold before it turns into spring-I like it when it ends.
That first snow fall-It's always amazing

8 Things on my wish list:
A portable mixing board-It would really help with the podcast
A night without the kids-I want to take the lady out to a good dinner at one of the 8 places we love to eat, maybe a movie, and then maybe do it like teenagers after words without worry the kids will hear/walk in.
A new car-More specifically a Ford Taurus SHO.  Sexy car.   I want it loaded.

A new laptop-More specifically a 15" Mac Book Pro
A happy and prosperous life and family- Like anyone else.
A new house-Need a bigger house with a yard.
A Superbowl win for the Cleveland Browns-Need I say more?
My own airplane-So I could have breakfast in San Fransisco and dinner in NYC.  Lunch on board.

8 Things I am passionate about:
My wife and children-They are the most amazing people in my life
Sales-Sales is not about hitting a number, it is about forming and cultivating relationships. 
Writing-I like to write, and I think I am ok at it.  Sometimes I think I suck, but sometimes I really do think I am awesome.  Average it out, and I am just ok.
Reading-Read to escape and learn.
Music-Especially not the shit you hear on the radio.  Local, grassroots shit.  The demo tape made in a garage is my favorite.  Gritty, honest, and usually awesome!
Food-I hate boxed dinners
Coffee-Local coffee houses are awesome, but few and far between thanks to Starbucks.
Learning-Whether it be about myself, or anyone else, I am a fan of the human being.  

8 Words I often use:
[in no particular order]

8 Things I learned from the past:
That the freedom America has wasn't exactly fought for, but negotiated.-Read Zinn's book; A People's History of the United States of America then follow it with McCullough's biography on John Adams.
That it could be worse-A childhood story that my Grandpa read to me.  It's a philosophy to live by.
Abstinence only programs do not work- I was in a school district that taught us what a condom was, and also what spermicidal lubricant was, and also how to put on a condom, by demo-ing it on a banana.  I look back on that day in health class in 9th grade as the information I use most often.  They also said that the only form of birth control that was 100% effective was abstinence.  As a result of this class I abstained until I was nearly 21, although I almost had sex when I was 18, but stopped short.  I have only had 2 partners.  Knowledge is power.
Prohibition created NASCAR-Google that.
The 60's looked scary as hell-I watched  a documentary on 1968, and it was fucked up.  
History repeats itself-I am working hard on not repeating my mistakes.
Humans will eventually be extinct-And it doesn't matter how many windmills we put up.  Eventually we are all going to die.
Gravity is awesome-Sir Isaac Newton.  Thanks for discovering it!

8 Things I want/need:
To be idolized by my children-Really, my kids need to think I am awesome
Money-It's tight right now.
Clarification on how we are NOT helping Haiti-I have seen interview after interview of American's telling the government get involved in the recovery effort.  We have Marines, War Ships, and a TON of American Aide on the ground.  We cannot just wave a magic wand.  
I need the celebs to raise money for things in their own country-For instance.  When disaster strikes, Hollywood, the fashionable cause monger they are, gets involved.  I have not seen 1 PSA from then helping out the people of this country since Katrina.  Why can't Clooney raise money to help average guys like me pay off their debt?!  I don't care what you think, but if you want to use your celebrity for something, help us out, don't tell us what you think.
Motivation-Seems I am lacking some motivation as of late.  I don't know what it is.
A new couch-Anyone who has sat down on this thing has had a hard time getting out of it.  It sucks you in.
A new TV-The one I have is sweet, but it is also 300 pounds.
A new car-For either my wife or for me.  Just want a new one

I am supposed to tag 8 people.  I say eff that.  I like breaking rules.  If you want to play along, let me know in the comments section.  I will come check it out and comment on it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Throwing Quarters Podcast Season 3 Episode 1

As promised, we did it.  Episode 1 is in the can.  Hope you enjoy it.  It was certainly a ton of fun.

Take a listen.  It should be up in iTunes shortly.  If you are impatient you can just listen below!

Important Dates that were mentioned.
Video Shoot for Vendetta Point.  February 21, 2010 @ 2:30pm at Peabody's. Free to public.  Just show up and look good

CD Release Show for Vendetta Point.  April 3, 2010 @ 7:00pm at Peabody's.  $6.00 at the door, free if you contact Jim or Ken or Me. 

I want to thank Vendetta Point for stopping by, and as promised in the podcast, here are all the links you need to know.

Vendetta Point  and Vendetta Point Twitter
Jim Skirtch
Ken Obloy
Kasey Crabtree and Kasey's Twitter
Dan Ryan
Mrs. Throwing Quarters 

During the Plugs I mentioned a community theater in Avon Lake, Ohio.  You can find them here.

Here is the hour of mayhem!

You can also find us on Stitcher Podcast Radio from your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Droid.

Mark you calendars.  Our next Episode is February 21, 2010.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Throwing Quarters Podcast Season 3 Live 8pm EST

Today is the day. The Throwing Quarters Podcast goes live at 8pm EST.

Starting at 7:30pm EST we have a pre-show. It will include some great music from Dave Ritz, Auralis, Adam Taylor, The Ohio Sky, Philo, Ryan Humbert, and Love Drug.

8pm EST Live!  With Adam, Kasey, and Dan

Guests this month: Vendetta Point

*If you do not see the uStream Feed and Chat Feed below, please click here to go to the direct show page*

Live Videos by Ustream

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's coming

Changing requires planning.  It requires discipline.  It requires forward thinking.  It requires support. 

This week I make a huge change personally.  It has been the source of my seemingly ever ending sour mood.  It has caused me sleepless nights and early mornings.  It has me distracted.

What is it that is changing?  My podcast. 

Since April, my podcast has been a labor of love.  My baby.  I have planned and executed everything on it.  From booking my guests, to reaching out and looking for new ones, I was in charge of it all.

This year it's changing.  This anxiety started after our first meeting on the format.  Kasey and Dan came over and we talked about how and what this whole thing is going to look like, sound like, time tables, etc etc etc.


After the meeting I kept going over and over in my head.  Is this right?  Am I sure?  Oh my god this is really happening!  With change comes doubt.  Always doubt.  Keeping my resolve, and having faith in myself that I can guide this process through is something I must do. 

I have no doubt that this is something that is going to happen.  The wheels are in motion.  The ustream feed is set up, but not all the technical bugs are worked out.  The soundbites I want to use are not edited yet.  I. am. freaking. out.

I am sure after this Sunday, it will all go off without a hitch.  The camera will work and provide a picture, but I am still a little sketchy on how it is working.  It seems that I can get it to work one day, but not the next.  The computers webcam works like a champ, but my hand held is a 50/50 shot. 

So needless to say I am a little worried.  I am excited.  I am nervous.

I am giving up a small level of control to make something better.  Let's hope it all works out.

Worst case scenario is that you can hear us but not see us.

After all, this is a radio show first. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A poem that doesn't rhyme, but poetry nontheless

I am staring at a blinking cursor on my computer screen.

I'm blank.

I have Pandora pumping in the headphones.

Fake It-Seether

I feel like I am faking it. 

My smile.


Not depressed, just craving a change.

Tired of hypocracy. 

Tired of bullshit.

Just tired.

2010 is going to be a year of flux.

I crave the challenge.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sonic's are about as great as dog meat by comparison

Strong statement?  I think so.  It was intentional.  Over the last few months, there has been such a hubbub about Sonic's.  You know the Drive-In Restaurant chain that serves you right in your car.  What a novel concept.  Not.  Cleveland just opened their first one in the area to rave reviews.  I knew years ago that this chain wasn't all that it says it is.  It's novel and you all know when the novelty wears off.  You realize that you have been to this drive in so many times, you realize that what you are eating is close to dog food.  I think some people of Cleveland think this is a new concept.  Many know that those people are wrong.

These Drive-Ins are a slice of Americana.  Drive in restaurants date back to as early as 1936, but didn't really reach the height of popularity until the 1950's after the end of WWII.

I am not all that old, but what I wouldn't give to live in that time.  Drive your land yacht with the tail fins to the drive in and order a burger, fries, and a vanilla coke.  It's no secret I am a burger fanatic.  They are lovely. Probably the most simple of concepts, but yet, no two burgers ever taste the same.  The All Ohio Burger from The Greenhouse Tavern is heads and tails different from the Bar Symon Burger at Bar Symon, or even more different still than the Fat Doug at B-Spot and both the Bar Symon and Fat Doug are made by the same chef.  Burger King vs. McDonald's.  Wendy's.  You get the picture.  Simple yet diverse.

The burger dates back to around 1885 when the Menches brothers were vendors at Erie County Fair.  They ran out of sausage for their sandwiches so they decided to use beef instead.  This of course is just one of the many stories about how the hamburger was invented.  There are too many to mention, but I would like the think that the legend of the Menches Brother's is the most true account.  1.  Their Story is believable.  2.  They are from Akron, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Cleveland, Ohio.

I tell you these stories to tell you yet another story.  Akron is not just home of the brilliant inventors of the hamburger, but it is also home to the first ever Swenson's Drive-In.

Last night I experienced Swenson's for the first time, and boy, it was everything everyone said it was.  The concept is not much different than that of Sonic, except they forgo the speaker boxes in the car stall. Their menu is printed on paper and not a monstrosity of lights and color much like a McDonald's drive thru.  The car hops run to your car and use pencil and paper to take your order and don't rely on a squawk box.  They don't use a call button, but just have you turn on and off your headlights.  You know, the way it was before there was all that impersonal technology.  I know I know, a shocking statement coming from a guy like me, but that's a different blog for a different time.

Swenson's is a slice of Americana placed right into my car seat.  Wifey and I ordered a double cheesburg which was fantastic.  After I ordered Wifey one-upped me when she ordered a slice of bacon on her burger.  Why the hell didn't I think of that?

Along with a burger we order vanilla cokes.  How wonderful is it to have a real vanilla coke.  Not that crap in a can that they sell at your local grocery store.  Despite the several inches of snow on the ground, Swenson's was busy.  Plenty of cars in the lot.  The car hops were right there and attentive.  Just to illustrate this point, I must tell you this.  I pull the car in.  They saw me pull in and by the time I slid my fat assed SUV into the parking spot, the car hop was running to the car, and by the time I had the car in park, she was ready to take my order.  How unbelievable is that!  

To tell you this burger was the best burger I ever had would be a lie.  It was good, juicy, well done, but not so good I would say that it was the best burger in the world.  But it sure beats the shit out of Sonic, McDonald's, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, Burger King, Arby's, and even Whataburger.

Swenson's burgers are amazing, truly amazing.  I could live on these burgers, but I'm pretty sure I would develop a heart condition and then die, but at least I would die happy.  If you are in Cleveland, coming through Cleveland, or once thought about wanting to come to Cleveland, you need to mark this place on the "must visit" list.  Forget Sonic's.  Find a Swenson's!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I like local

I've been bored for the last few years.  Food choices, retail shopping choices, entertainment options.  All those categories I have started to grow tired of going to the same god damn place.  If we can't decide on a good restaurant to go out to, we go to Fridays.  It's good, but I'm bored.  If we can't find it at Wal-Mart or Target, we don't seem to buy it.  If it's not playing at a local regal cinemas, it seems that we don't go. 

This is plaguing Cleveland.  I think we do things because it's what we have always done. 

This Christmas season, inspired by Chef's Widow, I focused not on getting great gifts for my wife, but getting great gifts for the wife you can't get anywhere else BUT Cleveland. 

I got the wife a couple scarfs from Proper Tea for Christmas.  Proper Tea is a locally owned and operated clothing company by Danielle DiBenedetto.  When I first heard of Proper Tea it was on a local morning show.  It was impressed and ever since I was on a mission to get the wife some scarfs.  The only down side is that they were hard to get.  She, at the time, did not have an online store [now she does] so I was boutique hopping.  I finally got my hands on both scarfs this Christmas when she set up a temporary boutique in the same outdoor shopping mall I work in.  I met her and happily plunked down my cash for them.  She also sold me another gift for the wife.  A long shirt, or dress depending on how tall you are.  I was nervous about that, but my wife has a good eye for design and she also loved it.

A customer of mine had a unique purse.  It was a cigar box with a handle.  It was awesome.  I asked her where she bought it, thinking my wife, a purse freak, would love one.  She said she made it.  I asked her if she sold them and she said, "thought never crossed my mind until now."  Three days after our encounter, she walked in with 2 purses to show the wife.  I bought them both.

People who open stores locally, I need to help them.  Their wares are usually just as good as what you would buy in the store.  Why not buy from your neighbor if you can?

2009 was hard for many people.  There are those who have lost their jobs, like my friend Kasey, or like my Mom, but both are not sitting around feeling sorry for themselves.  Kasey started a blog and is trying to make her own destiny rather than waiting for it to come to her, and my mom is doing the same thing.

My mom makes jewelry.  She is what I was call a jewelry freak.  She has a jewelry safe bigger than most jewelers.  If she cannot find what she wants, she makes it.  Well after her recent job loss, she turned to her craft to pass the time between checking e-mails and making phone calls.  After 3 days we had tons of jewelry.  Why not sell it?  She always has gifted these pieces off to family, but now that she has so much invested into her jewelry, it doesn't make sense to give it away.  So she has turned to sell it.  If you care to check it out, she has 6 item for sale in her Etsy store.  She sold one within a week of opening, so let's hope this is the beginning of a new path for my mom. 

I like buying local now.  A whole new world has opened up for me in Cleveland.  From drab boring Midwest city to culinary mecca of the Midwest, Cleveland is transforming in front of my eyes.  Cleveland has more little boutiques than I can mention, and so many great places to dine. 

Now if only the Browns could get their shit together and resign Cribbs to a respectable deal, and the Cavs keep LeBron after we win the NBA Championship.

Michael Symon is NOT a bastard

Not too long ago, I was at a blogger event at the Greenhouse Tavern.  During this time I met some of the Cleveland Blogger Elite.  From Cleveland's a Plum, Chef's Widow [who hosted this event], and many many more.  I also met Michael Symon.  If you went back and read that blog, you will notice that I called him a bastard to his face for reading this humble blog, but not commenting on it.

Well a few posts later I went to his new restaurant and wrote a little piece about THAT.  Well later that day, the Iron Chef commented on the post.

So this is my public retraction of previous comments that Michael Symon is a bastard.  Well honestly, I never really thought he was, but it just kind of came out.

Chef, thanks a bunch, and can't wait to try the new menu at Bar Symon.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Whine-fest or A Needed Payday

I haven't written about my beloved Browns this season because there has not been much to say.  They ended their season 5-11 after a 1-11 start.  I am excited to see next year.  I am excited to see what Mike Holmgren will bring to my Browns.  I am going to be excited if we can keep the players that make a difference.  I am going to be excited if we don't get blown out right out of the gate.

Well for those who don't know, Mike Holmgren was the football genious behind the resurgence of the Packers and also the Seattle Seahawks.  Mike Holmgren is now the president of The Cleveland Browns.  He said he is going to have a meeting with Eric Mangini [coach] and also has reached out to Josh Cribbs [the most under valued player in the NFL].

Josh Cribbs is coming off a terrific season personally.  He holds the record for most punt returns for touchdowns, he is The Cleveland Browns MVP, and he is what I would call the classiest person in football.  He doesn't whine.  He doesn't bitch and moan.  He goes out, puts his heart into the game, and goes back to the locker room and is quiet.  Yes, he was not happy about his contract.  Yes, he may have held out at the beginning of the season.  Yes, he needs to get paid more. 

Yesterday The Browns made him an offer.  To give you perspective, he is currently under contract.  Originally it was a 6 year deal valued at $6.77 million.  So that is about $1.13 million a year.  He has 3 years left on his deal.  Obviously the fans want to give Josh what he wants.  A pay increase.  He deserves it. We won 5 of our games on the legs of Josh Cribbs.  He deserves more.  So the offer yesterday was, $1.4 a year for the rest of his contract and we can talk about it in 3 years.  Josh rejected the offer and then tweeted about it.  Saying it was a slap in the face.  Looks like he isn't coming back next year.  Sorry to the fans that they have to go through this.

This is a frustrated Josh Cribbs.  It shows.  There is no secret there.  But this has me in a precarious bind.  So I stand behind the player or the organization?  I am not a fan of the owner Randy Lerner, but he has begun to warm me over with a football genius in Mike Holmgren.  I have always been a fan of Josh Cribbs when I watched him run back multiple kick off's for touchdowns but they were called back because of a stupid holding penalty.  So what do I do?  Why not play both sides?

On behalf of the organization, we don't know how much room they have to offer Josh Cribbs a proper raise.  Mike Holmgren is playing GM and president.  He is walking into a crappy situation started with Phil Savage, enhanced by Kokinas, and now it seems to reach a head on his desk.  Mike has been in town 2 days.  He's already trying to deal.  He went to Cribbs first.  Get Cribbs a deal was his goal.  But the long and short of it is, Josh is under contract for 3 more years.  He is giving him a short term deal in order to take a step back and breathe. 

On behalf of Josh Cribbs, he is a players player.  He goes out and plays the game.  He came in as an undrafted player from Kent State, a school not known for it's football program.  He was a QB and was converted to a WR and special teams player because he was fast.  He deserves every penny he gets because he plays.  He helps the team win.  He is the reason we won 5 games this year.

So what is there to do?  Any other year I would side completely with Josh Cribbs, although that is not my history.  This guy needs a payday.  But this time, in a time of financial hardship all around, and my family's struggle to keep the bill wolves away, I don't agree with Josh Cribbs?  He got a 20% pay increase and he is rejecting it.  I say take it.  I would take a 20% pay increase any day!  Josh is living in a city who sees recessions first and gets out of them last.  The people that fill that stadium to watch him play probably couldn't afford the $40.00 ticket [Cleveland has one of the lowest ticket prices in the league].  They want him to do well.  To reject a 20% pay increase in a city that isn't getting one is pretty shitty move.  Seems like a baby move.  We can't expect him to be patient forever, but I think 20% is fair right now.  Who knows what will happen?

I am sure this situation will continue to play out.  If you want to follow Josh Cribbs on twitter, you can, just click here.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Glorious Inglourious

I watch movies.  Netflix, as of late, have been my best friend [outside my wife of course].  It has allowed me to watch movies instantly or get movies in the mail.  I watch movies to be entertained, I watch movies to learn, I watch movies to break up the everyday monotony of life. 

The latest movie that has been in my DVD player was Inglourious Basterds.  The 2009 Quentin Tarantino film starring Brad Pitt and many many others.  I would have never known that Mike Myers was in this film.  Had I not read Wikipedia, I would have never known that the actor who played Hans Landa won an award at the Cannes Film Festival for best actor.  Had I not watched this movie, I would have a number of other things to talk about, none of which would have been as interesting as this blog is or isn't.

It's rare I watch a movie twice within 12 hours.  I have done it, but the last film that got me to watch it twice in 12 hours was ID4 [Independence Day].  I have watched Pulp Fiction on back to back nights, but that doesn't count because it was the only movie in the house when I forgot to pay the cable bill, so by default I watched it a few times.

Watching a movie that many times over and over, you learn a directors style, methods, and personality.  There is no secret that Tarantino is a great story teller.  From the cubist nature of Pulp Fiction from the flashback story telling of Reservoir Dogs, to the blaxploitation style of Jackie Brown, to the double feature movie Grindhouse, Tarantino has a romantic eye for movie making.  He makes movies the way they did way back when.  Before digital cameras, flash animation, special effects, and computer animation.  He doesn't make movies.  James Cameron makes movies.  Tarantino makes films.

Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino's latest creation, brings gritty, often uncomfortable subjects of Nazi Germany into your living room.  His characters seem to leap off the screen and into your lap.  You can feel the nuances of Col. Hans Landa, to the vengeance of Shosanna Dreyfus all while giving you a very coherent film.

This film pulled me in.  This film made feel what it would be like hiding from the SS and Gestapo, or what it would feel like to be scrutinized my the enemy while I was far behind enemy lines.  This film may be a work of fiction but Tarantino brought the Holocaust and the evil of the Nazi's into my living room, and in the end, it doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth.  The conclusion is perfect and poignant and at times this movie is laugh out loud funny.

As far as the look of the film, it brought me so close, I could smell the perfume on Bridget von Hammersmark, or the sweat on her shoes as Landa interrogates her.  I could smell the stale cigarette smoke in the tavern as the British agent meets with his contact in a bar with a room full of Nazi's.  I smell the blood on the hands of the "Apache" as the scalped the heads of the Nazi's as they killed them.  I could feel the rage of the "Bear Jew" and I could sense the uncomfortable feeling you get when you are stuck between hiding your friends or turning them in to the Germans to save yourself.

This kind of emersion doesn't happen very often.

Wifey didn't see the appeal of this film as I did.  To her, this was, "A bloody and gore-y film that wasn't a bad movie".  Why do they need to put that in the movie?  That was unnecessary.  Why do you make me watch these movies?  I am going to strap you to the couch and make you watch one of 'My' movies with me, she says.  I wouldn't mind being strapped to the couch, but that is another blog for another time.  

To me a well made movie can be as bloody and gore-y as necessary, as long as it does something other than shock you.  Blood isn't in this movie just because Tarantino knew a good make-up guy.  He put it in in order to tell the story.  In order to put you there.  In order to see the glory in the Inglourious.