I Now Pronounce You


My Corporate Nemesis -or- The Myth of Maximized Profits

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 31, 2007

I’m not sure how this never occurred to me, but I have a Corporate Nemesis. I’ve always known the facts involved in this…that one corporation oversaw the destruction and damn near death of two of my favorite things in this whole wide world, but I never really…you know…put one and one together and said “Wait a minute!!!!”…

In short, I hate CBS.

I realized this while discussing The Bronx is Burning with the Old Man the other night. He reminded me that during the early 70’s, the Reggie/Georgie/Billy insanity was actually far better than what it had been under the previous owners. That they were so bad that you wanted to scream…

“Friggin’ CBS” he said.

“No kidding…you know they did that to Fender, too”…

“Well, yeah. They bought them in the same year”

Hold up…what? How did I not know that?

CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System, acquired and ran in to the ground not JUST the New York Yankees, but Fender Guitars, as well! Imagine two of your favorite things being roughed up, devalued, and shamed by one entity.

CBS acquired the Yankees in ’65 and just ran ’em in to the ground. In 7 short years they traded away everyone on the team worth a damn and became the only ownership group that failed to win a championship. They were 636-640. They were the only sub-500 owners and the only group to never win a trophy. Nice, huh? By the time CBS was done sucking the marrow, the Yankees were a floundering organization with little direction and less value. To wit;

When CBS bought the Yankees in 1964/5 they paid $11MM for 80% of the team.

When Georgie boy bought ’em in 1973 he paid $8.7MM. For the whole team.

What went wrong? Well, to start with, the CBS baseball philosophy; Maximize revenue. The results were a disaster. They didn’t invest in the team. They didn’t spend on youth and scouting. They let old superstars go and didn’t replace them with anything that cost too much. In short, they bled the team.

Imagine for a second that George Steinbrenner actually saved the Yankees from the worst ownership group in team history. Amazing.

But wait, they weren’t done.

CBS also acquired Fender in ’65 and basically did the same damn thing. Instead of trying to make great guitars, they tried to make money…they cut costs and increased production. They changed the design of the Strat to make it more cost effective, but never, not once, did they lower the cost. They kept the price right where it was and raised it every year for something that any musician knew was inferior. In the market today, if you’re buying a classic Fender, the term you hear over and over again is “pre-CBS”. Anything they didn’t make is worth more. MUCH more.

CBS basically made shit for 20 years until they decided that it was time to cut ties with Fender and they sold it. To whom, you ask?

The employees of the company itself who couldn’t stand churning out shit any longer. (IF this sounds familiar, give the Harley Davidson story a read) And of course, then Fender started kicking ass again.

Interestingly enough, the two groups that bought these companies took the complete opposite approach to relaunching these proud American corporations than CBS had used. That is to say that they poured money in to the products and charged far more. The results? Fender is now the most recognized name in American Music and the Yankees were just valued at $1 Beeeeelyon Dollarrrz.

How’s that for an ROI?

Now, look. I’m a biz guy. I love makin’ a buck. What I hate though…what I will always hate and what this illustrates in a rather long winded way, is the quick fix fuckers who ruin it for everyone. When you hear about something coming in way way WAY over projections? Something happened. And if it wasn’t something that you can point your finger to and say “THAT”, then something is definitely wrong. Behind the scenes there are lots of ways to make your numbers go up. (I’m looking at you, GM) But in the long run, things have a way of evening out. You cut cost, in shorter time than you think it’s going to show in your results. You bloat your spending on the wrong things (coughuppercoughcoughmanagementcough), you’re going to see your abililty to react shaved down.

This is not rocket science. Of course I’m simplifying here, but you see the broad strokes point; the fast buck more often than not costs you two down the road. This is true in business and this is true in life.

And no matter how strong the brand name is…it can’t survive on it’s own.

And what about CBS?

Two and a half Men.

Case closed.

The Siiiimpsooooons, the Haaaaaapy Hooooour, and More

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 30, 2007

By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about what i’m going to share with you from all of the other DC bloggers and movie go-ers, but I’ve decided not to let that stop me.

Friday night, as you know, was the Exodus Happy Hour, or the “C-Ya Lata and Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya” for Roosh. It was also the opening of the new Simpson’s movie. Me being the “more is more” type of guy I am, I took a bottle of bourbon and my favorite member of the tribe to the Courthouse Movie Theater for the 4:50 Pre HH viewing of Homer and the Family…

It was WELL worth it…

The Simpsons Movie is like a long, very good episode of the show. It’s got everything from Naked Bart to Swearing Marge, but there aren’t many peripheral characters all that involved…except Flanders. The story line is funny, the animation is really, really good, and they didn’t overdo it. There’s no deluge of adult humor or swearing, which makes the few slightly “risque” things that do happen just that much funnier.

And that is all I have to say about that. Why? Because unlike the Express, I’m not going to ruin it for you…just get your tickets and enjoy the show.

Bourbon helps, but is NOT necessary.

Oh, and as a PSA;

If you are not considerate enough to at least turn off your cell phone or even just to set it to vibrate, for the love of GOD do NOT actaully ANSWER it in the theater. That 6’4 guy glaring at you? Yeah, he’s plotting your demise.

NOTE: Thank you to AJT for reminding me of this in the comments; DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL ALL OF THE CREDITS ARE OVER. You WILL be sorry if you do.

From there, it was straight to the Mad Hatter to meet the co hosts for a few pre game drinks and for me to get my autographed copy of BANG. Our other cohost was stricken with some sort of ailment…but like a trooper she fought that shit off and made it over to the Science club anyhow.

I have to admit though, I was worried it would just be the 5 co hosts and no one else. I mean, it was raining like it was time to start the Ark. I figured that no one would come out and we’d just drink ouselves silly and call it a night.

I was wrong.

Within minutes of our arrival, a decent stream of bloggers made their way in from the rain and before you knew it, the game was afoot. Roosh was signing copies of BANG, new bloggers were meeting old ones, and another successful HH was well underway. I unfortunately was done in by about midnight and missed meeting some of the old school DC bloggers (I’m lookin’ at you, Cookie) that showed up later. But all in all, it was fun time for everyone.

At least, no one asked me for their money back.

I was also told that we should keep doing these things. These Happy Hours. That it’s a good thing…and I’m inclined to agree. We’re going to keep these things coming as we have been, and we hope to see you all there. If you’ve got suggestions for events or places you’d like us to go…or even if you’ve got an idea for something you’d like to see, we’re all ears. Really. I’ve got something in mind with a bit more scope than just the drinking and the debauchery (although I am a HUGE fan of both) for later this summer. I think we’re in a unique situation to do a little good and get the word out with out being…you know…all preachy about it. I shared this idea with a few of you, and I’m going to be hitting you up for help in the not-too-distant future.

For the rest of you…stay tuned.

Another succesful Happy Hour down, the next one soon to come.

Exodus Happy Hour; Goodbye Roosh, Hello Homer

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 25, 2007

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Just a reminder that Friday night is the Exodus HH; your last chance to say goodbye to Roosh. He’s going to autograph some copies of Bang, use the pricipals laid out IN Bang (ladies, he will try and remove your socks first…) and shout “Bang!” for no apparent reason. For the record, I’ve got a fin bet with one of my co-hosts that he will autograph at least one pair of breasts. Though hopefully, not those of my other co-host.

Oh, and this co-host and I are going to see the Simpsons movie before the festivities. (It’s good to be friends with the boss…really.) We’ll try not to ruin it for you…

Send Michael Vick to Jail

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 24, 2007

I’ve been moved to talk about something that I was not only going to leave alone, but that I hadn’t really even considered writing about…I mean, really, I write about anything but current events. However, this I can’t stay out of.

The story of the year in sports is, without question, Michael Vick. If you don’t know what this means, I think it’s time for you to crawl out of the rock you’ve been under because this is big news. Mr. Vick has been charged with being the Mr. Big of the dogfighting world. He’s accused of raising, training, transporting, and fighting dogs. I don’t need to go in to all the details because there are approximately 15 million other websites where you can read the charges and the reactions of the pundits and prognosticators from around the world.

Here’s what I’m going to wade in to…the subject that has me up in arms.

There is a line of thinking that I’ve heard over and over again that states that this is only getting so much attention for one reason; Race. That if Michael Vick were a white guy…if he was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, this would all just blow over. He’d get a slap on the wrist, apologize, and life would go on. But that because he’s black people are calling for his head.

Furthermore, it states; what’s the big deal? It’s dog fighting. So what?

I’m sorry, but I just can’t buy either of these attitudes. I find the first misguided and the second to be completely shortsighted and I’d like to spend this page today telling you why I think it’s important that these arguments be knocked down.

But first, let’s talk Vick.

What Michael Vick is accused of isn’t attending a dog fight. He’s not accused of coming to an event and enjoying himself, throwing around a few wagers, and heading home. No no, Ron Mexico is accused of “conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in animal fighting venture”.

Get that? He’s basically a team owner for dog fighting.

But wait, there’s more;

From the summary of the 18 page indictment (read it all here if you’d like)

Based upon court documents obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act and information outlined in the 18 page federal grand jury indictment [25], it is alleged that Vick’s property was used as the “main staging area for housing and training … pit bulls…and was the scene of dog fighting events” as Vick and co-defendants Purnell A. Peace, 35, Quanis L. Phillips, 28, and Tony Taylor, 34, spent six years “knowingly sponsoring and exhibiting in an animal fighting venture” and that the property was purchased and developed for that purpose.

Effectively, this indictment breaks down that Vick bought a property for the purpose of housing his dog breeding and training camp and then used it for such a purpose, not to mention that he then held dog fighting events on the property. This is all very highly, and very well known to be; ILLEGAL.

Do I think that there are other athletes involved in dog fighting? Of course. Do I think that there are any as big as Michael Vick who are going to this extreme?

I very much doubt it.

If someone can explain to me how this is racist, please do so.

“Wait, wait” you’re saying…I can hear you; “it’s the fact that they are going after him that makes it racist.”

What complete and utter bullshit.

Let’s break down the widely held idea that this is a racist approach. Selective persecution, right?

Like it or not, dogfighting is illegal. You can say whatever you want about whether it should or should not be, but you’re no different than the shocked stoner getting arrested mid pizza and cheet-ohs dinner. That is to say that if you know something is illegal and you choose to do it anyway, don’t whine about the right or wrong of the law when you get caught.

Oh, and don’t do it in your back yard where the whole world can see you. Just a thought.

But, you want to talk about why it’s illegal? Fine. Let’s.

Look, the Romans were all about this; Death for amusement. It’s wrong. It demoralizes society. It cheapens life. You might not like it, but watching two animals fight to the death is bloodlust, and bloodlust is the lowest common denominator and that should NOT be encouraged or even tolerated. (And don’t give me this shit about boxing, as it’s structured and you can step away. Dogs can’t. And that’s the point…they CAN’T and those watching are watching for the death.) Death sports are not something evolved societies should condone, and don’t we pride ourselves on being an evolved society? Or is that just something you say to comfort yourself when you see Afghanistan and Iraq on the evening news?

Oh, that’s right…that’s humans, not dogs. Wake UP. When you desensitize there is no “I’m ok with this thing dying but not that thing”…once you start it, you start it. It’s the true gateway drug theory in action. The idea that it’s hypocritical because you’re wearing leather shoes is only partly true, because if you had to watch those shoes get made, you’d probably never wear them again. Well, the inverse is true, too…if you watch it enough you’re going to have less and less trouble with death and violence as a whole, not just to the animal.

You can’t pay evolution lip service. It either is or it isn’t, and allowing this sort of thing in to a society takes you in the wrong direction. If you don’t see that, please don’t move in next door to me no matter what race, religion, or creed you belong to.

This is me on my soapbox, but hear me out; you see a little kid tearing the legs off of flies and torturing mice, you think “that kid is fucked up” and you hopefully make sure he gets a little help. Because you know he is going to wind up a problem at some point…that his behavior in this incident is indicative of what his behavior in other incidents will be.

But, you see a fully grown multi-millionaire breeding, training, and inciting two dogs to tear one another apart for his own amusement and then electrocuting, shooting, drowning, or beating the loser to death, and you think “it’s racist to want this stopped”?

Excuse me, but that’s crap.

Furthermore, this man is putting a significant amount of his considerable resources (He’s got a $130MM contract) not to mention his considerable cache/celebrity behind dog fighting. You know what that means? The sport has an unbelievably high profile athlete endorsing it and financing it. Not Qyntel Woods this time…it’s Michael Vick. That means it’s poised to grow. SIGNIFICANTLY. And yet, it’s racist that the feds want to lock him up? To say to America that no matter how famous you are if you are this involved you are getting the full weight of the US Government thrown at you?

Get real.

To revisit the stoner analogy; if you get busted playing video games and smoking a joint, you’re looking at one scenario. But if you get busted with a basement full of weed, four vans outside decked out for transportation, $500K in cash and a trunk load of assault rifles, you’re looking at something completely different. The stoner broke the law and gets a slap on the wrist. The money, muscle and moving vans man gets just a wee bit more.

Michael Vick was not just smoking a joint playing Madden, folks.

If he’s guilty, Michael Vick deserves jail. He’s earned it. And so does anyone else that does what he does whether they are white, black or otherwise. The penalties should be metered out according to your involvement and damn near no one was as involved as the US Government’s case states he was.

If he’s guilty of what he’s accused of, fuck him. 6 years sounds just about right to me.

Now then…tell me I’m a racist for believing that.

I’m not naive. I know about “driving while black” and I wouldn’t dare to pretend to know what it’s like to be a minority in this country. I do know, however, that to me (and to an awful lot of people in general, as well as the US District Court) this isn’t about being black. It’s about the standards by which we as a country choose to live and what will and will not be tolerated by this society as a whole. Dog fighting and death sports that make life a trivial thing to be wagered on should not ever be something we allow regardless of the race or stature of who’s found to be involved in it.

Period.

To say otherwise, in my humble opinion, just leads us back to tossing Christians in with lions to see how long they’ll last.

NOTE: This is in no way a rebuttal of VK’s post regarding the same topic. VK and I are good friends who argue sports and whether or not Roosh really gets laid all the time. We are saying two different things with these posts, so please make sure to read both carefully rather than dive in half cocked. Gracias.

Sweet Imperfect Perfection; The Natural

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 23, 2007

If you know me at all, chances are that you know I (1) will always have insanity in my life that you will find wildly entertaining and (2) I love baseball. Insanity aside, this is about baseball. And specifically, the Robert Redford classic, The Natural.

This weekend, the Natural was on like 4 times…AMC, gotta love it. Me? I had to watch. Had to…I am not a Communista, comrade.

Now, look, there are very few things in this world that will make me cry. The first time I held my niece? I might have teared up a little. The ex and I broke up? Maybe a few hot tears of frustration…other than that? Nothing much comes to mind…

Except the god damn Natural. If this doesn’t move you…I mean…there isn’t…it’s like…

Screw that. Just watch.

Come ON. That’s just great stuff…I mean, I hear that song…duh DUH…I get chills. And Robert Redford? OK, I can admit it, I’ve got a guy crush. I mean, he’s Robert Redford. The Sundance Kid for Christ sakes.

But for all of the reverence I place on this film…for all the love…the joy I take in watching it…the respect….I gotta tell ya’…

There are some things that need to be said. And me? I’m gonna say ’em.

1) Iris doesn’t ever tell Roy he’s got a son and we’re OK with this…why? Or, What the Fuck is Wrong with Iris Part I

Iris and Roy hook up the night before he leaves for his try out with the Cubs. She seduces him and what happens? That’s right, she gets knocked up. Does she tell Roy? No. She does not. Not for 15 years (which we’ll get to later) If this happened today the movie would have been about the the conniving bitch that tried to cash in on her baseball playin’ next door neighbor.

2) Pop is not cursed, he’s an idiot.

OK, so the NY Knights manager, Pop Fisher (Played by Wifred Brimley pre-outmeal and life insurance schillin’ days) is a life long lovable loser who hates losin’ to the Pirates, should have been a farmer (according to his mom) and believes he’s cursed. Pop was a stakeholder in the Knights who ran in to some “financial trouble”…and what did he do? He sold his shares in the team to the evil owner with the caveat that if he wins the pennant this year, he can have them back…

Umm…WHAT? This guy’s never even come close to the pennant, he’s got a last place team with a star that doesn’t want to play (Bump Bailey, played by Michael Madsen) as much as he wants to be a star, and he’s betting it all on winning the Pennant? That’s cursed? Hell no that’s not cursed, that’s just dumb.

Moron.

Oh, and he never, ever coaches this team. He and his assistant manager, Red Blow (Red Blow?!) sit in the dug out and play name that fucking tune while the team is taking BP. I mean, what does he do, exactly, as manager? Answer? Nothin’. And we’re supposed to feel bad for him. Remarkably, we do.

3) Roy Hobbs is a nymphomaniac.

Why why why is this never brought up? Roy gets ready to go to Chicago…KNOWING that he’s heading out of town for bigger and better things, what does he do? He does Iris, sans protection.

He’s ON THE WAY THERE…on the damn train, and what happens? He can’t resist the charms of the creepy ass dark and sultry Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey) after striking out the Whammer…and she shoots him. Shoots him. I mean, he JUST got laid, and he’s can’t keep it in his pants for a day?

And then there’s Memo. (Kim Bassinger) Oh GOD do I hate Memo, and you’d think Roy Hobbs would, too. First, she moves from the recently deceased Bump Bailey to Roy in like, what? 46 seconds. Not only does Roy not mind stepping over the corpse of his former teammate, but he seems to relish it…the first time they have sex? It’s on the beach, under the boardwalk. Classy Roy. Reeeeal classy.

4) Iris is a Golddigger or What the Fuck is Wrong With Iris? PartII

So Roy Hobbs is mired in batting slump because he’s sleepin’ with Memo and enjoying his celebrity just a bit too much. This is the Rocky III part of the movie…you know, where Rocky goes all soft and needs Clubber Lang to kill Micky and whoop Rock’s ass to reignite the fire in him and restore his Ojo de Tigre. What does Roy need? More women, of course. But that’s not the point. After Roy snaps out his slump by catching a glimpse of the some hottie in the stands looking at him (which it turns out is Iris, but he didn’t know that at first…he was just like “wow, nice rack, now I’m ready to knock the crap out of this ball.”) he meets up with Iris and finds out that she is not and never has been married, but does have a kid. Roy asks if the boy is with his father and she coyly says “His father lives in New York…but I think he’s at an age now where he needs a father”…

OK, stop. Stop right there, damnit. How is it that he didn’t need a father before this? I mean, we’re supposed to just forget she’s a single, never married mother in the 1930’s and this kid never needed his dad? He never took an asswhoopin’ or 50 because of her status and came home cryin’ his bastard eyes out because all the other little boys have both sets of rents? Nope…he never needed a dad.

Well, not until his dad became a famous baseball player.

I ain’t sayin’ she’s a golddigger…

5) “What would be like the worst possible time to tell a man he’s got a 15 year old son?” or What the Fuck is Wrong with Iris Part III

Roy winds up in the hospital and is trying desperately to make it back to the team for the deciding game of the Pennant. He’s sick as hell, bleeding, and he’s gonna play…or at least he’s gonna try. It starts with this memorable exchange between Roy and Pop the loser manager;

Pop Fisher: You know my mama wanted me to be a farmer.
Roy Hobbs: My dad wanted me to be a baseball player.
Pop Fisher: Well you’re better than any player I ever had. And you’re the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.

But it doesn’t start out so good…Roy can’t run all that well, and he’s having a rough day at the plate whiffing on everything. His swing is ugly and he’s a damn mess…so what’s to be done? I mean, this man needs something to get him through, and steroids aren’t available just yet…he needs…he needs….

A note telling him that he’s got a 15 year old son? WTF?! That’s Iris’ great idea…NOW she’s going to tell him? Has she lost her mind!? She’s lucky he didn’t make a break for it and skip the rest of the game, because LORD KNOWS nothing makes a man settle down and focus like paternity, right?

I mean, really, what is she thinking?

Yet, I’ve never heard anyone say a damn thing about this.

Oh, and for the record…check out the last scene in the movie. Do you think it kills Roy that because Iris never told him he had a son and he missed the first 15 years the kid throws like a girl?

6) Roy Hobbs is a crappy teammate.

People get mad when I say this, but it’s totally true. Think about it; he gets up and walks out of meetings because he doesn’t see the point. Imean, after all, he’s been on the team for what? Maybe 3 weeks at that point? He’s got a right to be pissed he’s not playing? That’s not cool…that’s Terrell Owens! But he wants to be taken seriously and allowed to play…and to further prove it, he…dates Memo? What team would put up with that crap? You start walking out of meetings everyone else has to sit through and sleeping with the just deceased center fielder’s gf, and you’re not making any friends. But Roy? Roy’s beloved. Go figure. Must be the dimples.

And look, there are other things in this movie, too. I mean, Roy’s swing is not going to generate that power…it’s a contact hitter’s swing. There’s no power in that. But every time he hits the ball you’d think he was Bo Jackson.

He shatters the Wonderboy bat in his last AB, but then he hits the game winner with it. (Look close, you can see it)

It’s full of holes. Loaded with mistakes. (IMDB has a list of them) But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s one of those movies I watch no matter what. Even if it’s the story of a compulsive skirt chaser managed by a gambling addict who can’t coach. So what…when he shatter that lighting rig, I still get chills.

And maybe I get why he’s sleeping with Kim Bassinger a little more than I’m letting on…

Note: This weekend, the Yankees brought up a kid named Shelley Duncan, who promptly hit 3 home runs in his first two games. When he hit his third yesterday (his second for the day) the PA played…you guessed it; the theme from the Natural.

Note 2: Friday it’s HH. Don’t forget, kids.

“Take Off This Uniform and Leave the Show”

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 20, 2007

On August 10th I will officially be recharging my batteries…and not a minute too soon. See, occassionally I find myself clenching my teeth and rubbing my temples while looking at a spread sheet (or a significant other…it happens) and I realize, “Dear GOD I need a break”.

Now, I’m not talking a vacation. I don’t recharge my batteries on the beaches or in Vegas. I chill out and remember who I am best when I find myself in Lubec, Maine. Never heard of it? Of course you havent.

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Lubec has one road in, as it sits on a penninsula jutting out in to the ocean…it’s the Eastern Most town in the US, in fact, and that might be it’s only claim to fame. It’s got two gas stations and one grocery store…well, two if you count the IGA on the way out of town. One bar and one coffee shop, and two restaurants. There’s a little hardware store and well…not a whole lot else. It’s quiet, and damn near nothing ever happens there that would make the news, local or otherwise.

And by God, I love it.

I grew up spending my summers there with my grandparents. (My grandfather worked in the postal service and my grandmother ran one damn tight ship at home.) As I got older I kept going back and in lots of ways the progress of my life can be measured by my summers in that town. I got my first real kiss there from a local girl named Sandy. I still remember the first time I made the drive, which at the time was my first really good, really long road trip North. My brother was married and started his own family there and more than likely he’ll be there the rest of his days.

I used to beg him to leave because the world was so much bigger and better than Lubec, Maine. Now I realize just how arrogant I was when I said that. In fact, I think that I can measure my own growth as a man by the ways my view of this sleepy little town have changed. From wide eyed wonder at it when I was a boy to contempt when I was a late teen and early twenty-something to outright admiration now.

Lubec is where I cool my jets…where I spend time sitting on the rocky cliffs of Quoddy Head (the actual Eastern Most spot you can be) looking out at the ocean and thinking about absolutely nothing.

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For whatever reason, this former fishing town (complete with a run down museum of the history of canning) brings my peace. It always has. There is damn near nothing to do, but I find myself always feeling like there wasn’t enough time when I have to leave. And every time I DO start to pack to go, there’s Kid Brother and the Old Man asking me if I’m sure I want to go…

And every year it gets harder and harder to say “yes”. This year I’m flying in to Manchester, NH, then driving North in a rented Ford for a good 5 or 6 hours of my beloved Asphalt Therapy…up through Portland and Augusta, ditching the main highways for the routes that cut through Bangor and Ellsworth…out of the reach of the Starbucks and the McDonalds…North and East, North and East until suddenly there’s just no land left…and as soon as I get there I remember the time before when the Old Man asked if I really wanted to go, if I really wanted to be so far away… so far away from the place where headaches aren’t an every day occurance and family stops by without knocking. Where I don’t wear a suit that feels like a uniform…

And once again (as I’ll do this time too) I said “yes”. But this time, it’s going to sting juuust a bit more than last year. And next year it’ll be a bit worse. Because, I don’t know what your picture of heaven is, but mine looks just like this;

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And for 9 days this August, I’m gonna soak it all in.

All is Fair in Love and War

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 18, 2007

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to drive. It’s like a moving meditation for me and on Sunday I had close to 5 hours worth of asphalt therapy.

I had been looking forward to the long drive up to Delaware for a wake and the long drive back to just let my mind go and deal with everything that was going to happen that day. But, since I’d sold my car I am now a car renter (as opposed to a car owner) that meant that I had to take the train to Budget Rental Car…

Which would have been fine save for one little detail.

When I got to the metro, looking and feeling somber in my black suit, I found waiting for the train going in the other direction…

…exFiance.

This marked the first time that I’d seen her since I’d gone back to pick up my stuff and found out how angry I was about the whole situation. I saw her first, and then a split second later she saw me, smiled, and turned off her iPod to say “hi”.

There was a hug. There was the “it’s good to see you”…the “how have you been”…she asked why I was dressed up on a Sunday and I told her…there were “I’m so sorry’s” and “it’s Ok’s”. And overall…it was good. Good enough, anyhow.

A short time later I was in a shiny mostly new maroon Subaru Forester heading out 50E towards the Maryland Shore.

Fast forward through the day…

On the way back, I started thinking about all kinds of things…the wake I’d attended, Lou’s Mom, the obvious love his father had been a part of for the past 38 years (38 YEARS, folks) and of course…

Seeing exFiance.

It’s kicked around in my head since Sunday…and for some reason so has the phrase “All is Fair in Love and War”.

It occurs to me that we do what we do to get what we want, and that’s that. Men will say “I don’t trust women because” blah blah blah…women will say “I don’t trust men because” etc etc etc…and only occasionally will either of us admit that what we do is just as bad as what they do. That there are damned good reasons for both sides to say “I don’t trust your actions or the motivations behind them”.

Ahh, the motivations behind them.

Isn’t this the sticking point? What is it that motivates the game playing? The sexual dynamics? The little white lies and the withheld or outright false information? The cheating and the flirting? The “rules” and the tests and all of the reasons that we look at each other and lable the opposite sex as “suspect”…why do we do it?

As usual, I’ve got a theory.

We do it because at the end of the day it’s all we know…it’s how we stumble towards what we think is happiness. It’s not because we’re mean or spiteful. It’s what we think is going to lead to some better place. I really believe that, even about some people that don’t deserve any sort of benefit of any sort of doubt.

I also believe that when we stop playing the games and stop giving in to our fear induced patterns and we put ourselves out there…that’s the only time you’re being truly yourself. It’s the only time you’re alive.

So why don’t we all take a deep breath and stop?

Because all is fair in love and war and it’s much easier to play games than to be exposed. We want to feel a certain way, so we do and say whatever we need to in order for that to happen. We’re like children, really.

Bad fucking children.

So you can’t be shocked, really, when someone does do something that just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Just because you wouldn’t have done what they did to you, does NOT mean you wouldn’t do something to someone else that they wouldn’t have dreamed of doing to you. To think otherwise is just plain dumb.

What I think I’ve learned of late is that we’re fear based creatures until something gives us cause to be otherwise. At first, we come out of the womb screaming and crying and terrified of everything we see. It’s all too bright, too loud, and too cold and it’s our mothers that teach us to trust. That teach us not to scream and cry and carry on…to not pout when we want something and to be “big boys and girls”.

Then we go out in to the world and see it from somewhere other than our parents protected home and again, it’s all just too bright, too loud, and too cold. We take our old lessons and we learn new ones. But somewhere along the line we learn that those that aren’t connected to us don’t deserve our trust…so we put them through games and hoops to make them earn it…

But like bad children we often don’t realize that we have to earn their’s too.

So the world, for lots of us, is going to remain too bright, too loud, and too cold. It stays that way because of the “three day rule” and the “Factor of 3”. Because of big things like false “I love you’s” and petty bullshit like ignoring someone to get their attention. It stays that way until we find someone who’s games and bullshit somehow matches up with our own in a way that makes us feel safe. And in that safety we let go over time and find ourselves (hopefully) 30 years later looking back and knowing that what we had made it so much better than how it could have been if we’d held on to all that crap that gave us meaning before.

So…was I mad at exFiance? Sure. Like I’ve said, that had more to do with me than her…but there were a few of her “rules of engagement” that rubbed me wrong. But all’s fair…

And now? I’m hanging up my cleats and gloves because I’m not interested in games anymore. I don’t have the energry or the desire to play ’em and when I see it being played against me I think I’ll just pass.

I’m more of a “tell it like it is” guy than a “how long has it been/can I call now” guy.

Unless she’s…you know…like, totally hot or something.

EXODUS Happy Hour

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 16, 2007

exodus1.jpg

You knew it was coming…you KNEW it. All the bail has been posted and fines paid from the last time…for like a week you were probably saying “I am NEVER going to another Happy Hour hosted by these people again…” And honestly? We don’t blame you…really, we don’t.

What do we do?

We wait.

We waited until your hangover subsided…then you got the stitches removed…you completed your cycle of antibiotics…and we waited until you started thinking; “Man, when are they gonna get off their asses and have another Happy Hour?”

Your wait (and ours) is over. It’s time for another HH. Oh YES.

And this isn’t just ANY happy hour. Oh NO. This is EXODUS. Allow me to explain. No, there is no time. Allow me to sum up.

For those of you that don’t know, our dear friend RooshV is leaving the country. Apparently, there is a limit to how long you can duck the law, paternity suits, and angry husbands and boyfriends. Well, Roosh has hit that limit and is going to Bolivia. Or somewhere in South America. Anyhow, he ain’t gonna be here no mo’.

Imagine that? A DC without Roosh? I remember the first time that I discussed Roosh with Kathryn On, and she told me “He’s nothing like he seems to be from reading his blog.” I thought to myself, “Yeah. RIGHT…he’s probably a total prick.”

Well, it’s a little from Column A and a little from Column B. But either way, it ain’t gonna be the same without him here. You know it. I know it. He’s dropped his knowledge on us, it’s starting to sell, and he’s fleeing the scene like a bandito after a bank heist.

So come say goodbye to the man. Buy him shots. Tell him the baby is his. Get him to autograph a copy of Bang for you. Whatevah! We’re going to send him South in style AND have a damn good time doing it at what is sure to be another bad ass happy hour. I mean, we’ve been on a roll lately! Were you at the last few? Did you see how many new and old bloggers were tripping all over themselves? It was a love fest!

And to that end, Invite-a-Blogger is on again. Invite anyone you read…we want them there with us, and besides, it’s their last chance to meet Roosh until the extradition proceedings bring him back to the US.

When: Friday July 27th, 8:00pm until the last person realizes that they got stuck with the bar tab. (400+ SC&L’s add up…)

Where: Science Club. That’s right…the Science Club

With your hosts;

Yours Truly…

VK

KassyK

Arjewtino (who is in Guatamala, but will return next week.)

And of course, Mr. BANG himself.

So, get yourself to the Science club Friday the 27th so that you can;

…send Roosh off in style

…get an advanced copy of VK’s new book (entitled Midget Clowns in Heat; The True Story of My Alternative Lifestyle)

…console Arjewtino (after the 3-nil ass whoopin’ Argentina took at the hands…errrr…feet of Brazil)

…hit KassyK up for pics of hottie Israelis

…and get your obligatroy SC&L with me.

See ya there.

The “Other Moms” In Our Lives

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 13, 2007

I got an email this morning from one of my oldest, dearest friends; Sweet Lou …I’ve mentioned him before on these digital pages…he’s been one of those rare constants in my life that I’ve never taken for granted. When you have as few constants in your life as I do, you don’t take any of them for granted, really.

I got in to my office, popped open my email and saw one from him without a subject line and thought “Great, he’s probably emailing to razz me about the Yankees or some shit…” Of course, I was wrong.

Sweet Lou’s mother passed away. She’d been a lifelong smoker and had been diagnosed with lung cancer just recently. Within the past few weeks, she’d taken a turn for the worst…she passed with her family around her just as I would think any of us would hope to go.

This was not just a friend’s mom to me, and I’d like to take a minute here to pay her what I feel is probably one of the two tributes I can.

Growing up, I lived in a high stress household. I’ve mentioned this and I don’t need to get in to it any more than I have. Because of this I was what I like to refer to as a “Good (enough) Kid”. I didn’t get in to LOTS of trouble, was highly responsible…buuuuuut…yeah. At any rate, one of the two places that I always knew that I could go and be unconditionally supported was Sweet Lou’s house.

SL’s pop is a stern but imminently kind man who had a true sense of decorum and honor. He believed in doing things “the right way”, just like he believed in Apple Pie and America. For some reason though, whenever I was around I loosened him up. Sweet Lou loves to tell the story about the first and maybe only time he ever heard his father swear was to me, about something unimportant…he said “shit”…it was classic.

Sweet Lou’s mom, God rest her beautiful soul, was a mom right out of a 50’s TV show. She was always dressed well and always had hugs and smiles and words of encouragement spoken with her Delaware/Philly accent. The fridge was always full of everything teenage boys would want to see; ice cold soda and sandwich fixins’, chips and snacks…and nothing was offlimits for her boys. When we got old enough and started taking road trips down to the Cape, she’d make us a cooler full of “Hoagies” and anything else you could think of…I mean, really, you’d have thought we were going away to war. But that was part of her way.

She would listen to our stories and smile and laugh and never, ever get judgemental. If anything, when she would offer advice to us, we’d more often than not listen because you could just tell it wasn’t coming from a “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid” place…but moreso because she loved us. And you just knew it. And in knowing that, the world was just a better place.

Sweet Lou’s parents often times referred to me as “their other son” and I always smiled a little inside when they did. It made me feel, in many ways, better than hearing it from my own parents because they didn’t have to open their home and their lives to me…they didn’t have to worry about me or give a damn about me…but they did. They had a way of recognizing when I was close to blowing because of my home life (which they NEVER discussed with me because to them, that would be crossing a line…and God bless them for that, too) and allowing me…no…MAKING me relax. Making me cool down…and I’d find myself laughing and smiling and suddenly just breathing again.

When I joined the Army, it was Sweet Lou’s parents far more than my own who told me how proud they were of me and gave me two separate talks. The one from “dad” was about honor and pride and he spoke to me in the driveway with his arm over my shoulder. The one from “mom” was about being sure to write, taking care of myself, and being careful. They were the conversations I’d hoped to hear from my own parents.

For these reasons, and many others, I often told her that I loved her when I had the chance to see her. And I never tired of hearing her say “we love you, too”.

This week the world lost one of the truly great, truly special moms. I hope that you all take a minute today to think about not only your mom, but the “other moms” that you grew up with. If you had one of these “other moms” I’m talking about, the second tribute to Sweet Lou’s mom that I can offer today is that you find a way to tell her that you love her, and that you appreciate what she did for you. Believe me, she will appreciate it much, much more than you could possibly expect.

I am not just a better man, but a far better person for having her play that role in my life. I wish I could have told her more times than I did, but I know that she knew. I know that i told her, and I know that there’s one other “mom” out there that I need to tell. She deserves a “Thank you”, as do they all.

Godspeed, Mrs. S. You will be missed, and you’ll always be loved.

One Perk That Comes With Having Young Nieces…

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on July 12, 2007

…is that you can take them to see kid’s movies and not feel all weird about it. I mean, do you know how embarrassing it is to be kid free and say “Hey could you quiet down?” to a youngin’ in a movie theater? Oh wait, I should add that the movie was Happy Feet.

Yeah. Not so cool.

However, I am totally taking my nieces to see this movie…now, I don’t like admitting that I am psyched to see it. I really don’t. But I’m telling you, I just can’t wait. And my nieces are absolutely going to be my cover.

I love me some Underdog. LOVE IT! There’s something so bad ass about that damned dog saving the world. And for those of you that need a reminder…

Now if it rocks, keep your fingers crossed that the sequel will include this dog;

I do so love that a bunch of you are going to be walkin’ around singing either “SPEED OF LIGHTNING! POWER OF THUNDER!” or “Hong Kong Phooey…NUMBER ONE SUPER GUY!”

I know I am.

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