Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Biter

Here's the really crazy part about this Luis Saurez biting stuff:

He has bitten opponents on a couple of occasions already.  This is bad for his image and the game.  I'm sure he knows this.  I'm sure he's been told this.  I'm 100% positive that those close to Suarez (and his country and the clubs that he represents) have made this clear: chill with the biting, boss, it's bad for business.  I'm sure that's something that was on his mind heading into yesterday's World Cup match.  I'm sure it has been discussed, not once or twice, but many, many times.

And yet here we are.  Another day, another game, and another biting incident.  Let's face it: the dude is seriously crazy.  This is the biggest stage in soccer and here's a guy out there playing his ass off for his country.  He's a wonderful talent and he is critical to Uruguay's success in the World Cup, which often seems to be the only thing that matters in the world of soccer; everything else is just a tune-up of sorts for the World Cup, or so it seems in the grand scheme of things.  So, on this massive stage, what does this immense talent with a bad rep (and a firm understanding that of all the things he shouldn't do out there on the pitch, biting is #1 on the list) do?  You know the answer, you've read the headlines.

It's totally crazy.  Just imagine you're out there playing for your country, knowing you must not bite anyone--which is something you probably shouldn't have any desire to do to begin with--and then it happens.  You're overcome with the urge.  There's this dude a few feet ahead, and as important as this game and your reputation are, you have to bite that son of a bitch.  Suddenly your eyes are glued to his shoulder, and all you can think about is sinking your teeth into that man.  You decide that maybe you can get your bite fix and fool everyone in the process if you try to play it off like your teeth and his shoulder came into contact by accident and it's on.  Damn sanity.  Damn your reputation.  Damn the World Cup.  It's time to bite someone.

I mean, honestly, that's what it looks and feels like to me.  And that, my friends, is some seriously crazy shit.  I don't know that I've ever seen anything like it in professional sports.  Here is a guy that many feel is perhaps the best player in all the world, and if some of the pundits get their way he may never play the beautiful game again.  Hell, it makes sense in a way, how can it be called the beautiful game if there's some lunatic running around out there on the field looking to take a bite out of his opponents.  What's wrong with Luis Suarez?  What will happen to him? 

I don't know, but I know this: it's crazy as hell.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Best Smell in the World

It's an easy one for me.  It's probably an unusual choice, but I know there are others who will understand--though I fear we may be a dying breed.  Yes, it's an old musty paperback, with that ancient smell that sweeps me back through a few hundred musty paperbacks that I flipped through in a few thousand different places.  There's nothing quite like it.  Every time I pick up one of those old treasures (like the copy of Jaws I'm currently reading, the same copy I've read so many times I've lost count) and that aroma washes over me, I'm filled with a special sort of joy.

I've always loved that smell, though for different reasons.  As a youngster, that was the scent of adventure, and perhaps even a whiff of the taboo as much of what I was reading was intended for mature readers.  I started with King's Christine at the age of 8 after finding my dad's stash of horror novels.  Given the way this life-changing discovery went down, I don't think that was an accident, and Pop never objected once my love for such fare became common knowledge.  Anyway, in those days the potent smell of the aging paperback was an invitation to adventure and a passport to worlds yet unknown.

Now, there's still a bit of that magic in the smell, but it's more about familiarity and a love for all the joy and knowledge this particular hobby has provided me with over the years.  It's a bit nostalgic, perhaps even a bit melancholy, and yet it is a wonderful smell that remains ripe with promise.  Whether it represents a return trip to a familiar destination or a brand new odyssey, that smell remains partnered with the excitement of taking part in a story, the greatest pastime of them all.

Friday, June 20, 2014

God Bless Plumbers

Listen, plumbers cost a lot of money.  I get it.  That's why I do a lot of this stuff when I can.  Today I am engaging in my second major plumbing experience of the year.  Trust me, those of you who haven't gone this route before, plumbing ain't easy.  Plumbing is hell.  Plumbing is hard, plumbing is dirty, and I do not like plumbing.  Were I a wealthy man, there would be a plumber here right now.  I am not a wealthy man and I am doing the plumbing, and in summary, plumbing is not fun.  So God bless plumbers, and if you aren't doing the plumbing yourself, don't gripe about the cost.  It's worth it.

I promise.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Last Word on The PC Police

Fuck 'em.  I love colorful language and I'm smart enough to base my feelings on language more on the intent and the context the language is delivered with than some over-sensitive twat's idea of what is and isn't acceptable.  After all, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.  Remember that shit?  There's a glorious concept that has fallen out of style in this era of "woe is me" and "don't hurt my feelings, they're all I have" and whine-sniff-cry-whine-whine. 

Fuck 'em.  Fuck 'em hard. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jaws by Peter Benchley

I'm reading Jaws.  Again.

Seriously, my paperback is held together by scotch tape and love at this point.  I have a hard time deciding which of the books I hold so dear is actually my favorite.  It's probably the book you've read the most, right?  If that's true, it's either Jaws or 'Salem's Lot.  Either way, the heat of summer is here and I'm hanging with Brody and Quint once again.  I'm happy to hang with Hooper whenever I watch the movie, but he's kind of a prick in the book.  For those who don't know, I'm not offering up any spoilers (unless Hooper being a dick counts) but the book is rather different from the movie.  There are more deaths, there are entire subplots that didn't make it to the cinema, different characterizations, and most importantly, a completely different (and superior) climax.

Recently, I concluded a review of Dan Brown's Inferno by noting that Inferno = Shitburger.  That was accurate.  On a similar note, Jaws = Goldburger.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Beautiful Game

I hope you're watching the World Cup.  This is truly one of the greatest sporting events of them all, and anyone looking to argue that it is in fact THE greatest has a lot of credibility.  It is a game of grace and skill, and when all that athleticism and creativity leads to a score, watching the end result is a lot like experiencing fine art.  Yet it's such an amazing spectacle that scoring isn't truly required.  Today, Mexico challenged the host country, Brazil, and the outcome was a 0-0 draw.  However, despite the lack of goals, this was a thrilling match that oozed drama and suspense. 

Watch the World Cup.  I know we Americans are relative newcomers to the sport and many of us know precious little about it, but the 2014 World Cup is just getting started.  Thus far, it promises to be a gripping education for those who aren't in the know, and those who are in the know have to be impressed with the results thus far.  Besides, The NBA Finals are over and football is still a couple of months away.  This is the time to embrace the beautiful game.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Inferno by Dan Brown

Several years ago, two of my friends convinced me to read both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.  I must confess that I knew of the properties and I wasn't really that keen on reading them, but after weeks of peer pressure, I relented.  Honestly, I really liked those books.  I also greatly enjoyed The Lost Symbol when it came out.  I waited until Inferno hit paperback to snag a copy and I finally got to read it last week.  It took the better part of a week for me to finish the book and for those who have seen me zip through four or five books (or more) in a week, that is likely criticism enough.  It's true, I didn't like Inferno.

In fact, let's be brutally honest.  Inferno sucks.  It boasted a flimsy plot, enough coincidences to ruin any thriller, enough absurd twists to ruin any three thrillers, and it also featured some terrible storytelling.  There was one sequence that Brown revisited over and over again for dramatic effect; I honestly groaned the second or third time he did so, and by the time the book (thankfully) drew to a close, he had probably revisited this particular sequence some 15-20 times.  I would recommend Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol to most readers.  I wouldn't recommend Inferno to anyone.

Inferno = Shitburger


Friday, June 13, 2014

"Stuck" Video for Drowning Delilah

What's up, peeps?
I've been pretty busy promoting Never Look Back Again and working on my next book, but I also found time to direct a music video.  The band is Drowning Delilah and they are totally badass.  They were cool enough to provide a song for Never Look Back Again and in return I directed the video for that song.  The track is "Stuck" and it's killer--they gave me the opportunity to pick any track from a previous release and this one really worked for me.  I'm equally pleased with how the video turned out.

I went for a high energy, high contrast approach, and I think I nailed it.  Most importantly, I think it captures the spirit of the band, and they're really pleased with it.  With that in mind, I wanted to share it with you guys, so here it is: "Stuck" from Drowning Delilah.