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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ketchup, Rubber Buns and Liquor

Back when I was a kid, there was this awful joke we used to tell...even if we didn't quite understand it.

JOKER: Okay to every single thing I say, you have to respond "Ketchup, rubber buns and liquor," got it?
JOKEE: Sounds reasonable enough and you've never lead me astray so I shall play into your little ruse.
JOKER: Great. So what do you eat for breakfast?
JOKEE: Ketchup, rubber buns and liquor.
JOKER. Right. So what do you eat for lunch?
JOKEE: I see where you're going with this...
JOKER: Shut up. What do you eat for lunch?
JOKEE: Ketchup, rubber buns and liquor.
JOKER: Exactly. What do you eat for dinner?
JOKEE: You know what I'm going to say...
JOKEE: Ketchup, rubber buns and liquor.
JOKER: Good. Now when you meet up with your old girlfriend, what do you do?
JOKEE: Ketchup, rubber buns and liqu....HEY!
JOKER: Hahahahah you like giiiiiiiiiirls!
JOKEE: We're through professionally, man.

I guess what I'm trying to say, Internet, is that it has been a while. And with your permission I would like to now catch up, rub your buns and lick you.

It's been a long summer. That's not to say it hasn't been a good summer by any stretch of the imagination...just long, you know. Well if you are over the age of 20 and live in a reasonable American tax bracket than you probably DO know.

I now live in a house...a house that I make payments on (however late they may be) and a house that I'm responsible for. It seems like just yesterday I was on the receiving end of jokes that cruelly made me prove my attraction to women. Now I study in coffee shops, work at baseball stadiums and live in houses that my parents don't.

Weeeeird, man.

I also have a day job. Only it's not every day...and they don't pay me....and it's not a job so much as it is an internship but it is awesome. I'm writing game recaps for the Southern Ohio Copperheads and living the dream several nights a week, sitting in an overcrowded press box on balmy summer nights watching young men play baseball WITH ACTUAL WOODEN BATS. Then I get to go home and write about it. It's actually rather wild.

I'm also writing here and there for the Athens News. A long time ago I once called a certain editor of a certain local paper "long-winded." Two years later, that man would not only generously let me write for his paper but also patiently wait for me to figure out AP Style instead of saying "Jesus, this kid is an idiot," and kick my short-winded ass to the curb.

Life works in mysterious ways, children.

I don't know if you've noticed but I've also changed the appearance of the blog for a bit. The name "The Collective(ly) Unconscious" is one of my favorite things my demented little mindhas ever produced but my writing habits and skills haven't been able to live up to the name of such a serialized genius. I wanted my blog not to be so much a blog as it was a center for serious
cultural analysis. But almost two years into the process, I've realized that that isn't what a blog is. A blog is a narcissistic cesspool where I write about my day-to-day existence to justify the 55-80 years I will spend suffering the tragic human illness of consciousness.

Also, the blog is now in the color orange.

I've been catching up with some television as I am ought to do.

I finally finished the third season of Mad Men. I go through Mad Men in spurts. It is such a slow, literary show that my mind can only take so much of it at once. Having said that, season three was the most entertaining the show has ever been and hours like "The Gypsy and the Hobo" prove once again that television is the best it has ever been.

I've also started watching Starz recently cancelled series Party Down. I have a thing for recently cancelled shows. Lord knows I want to tackle Buffy or The Sopranos one day but 20 episodes of Party Down look a lot more conquerable than 70+ episodes of The Sopranos or 100+ episodes of Buffy. I never really watched Veronica Mars, so I had nothing to expect from a Rob Thomas show...I only watched because of the low episode count. Now that I have only four episodes left, I wish I had four-hundred more. Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan are utterly tremendous - the best star-crossed couple I've seen on television since the first season of Jim and Pam. And how Ken Marino has escaped my radar this long is beyond me. I never would have believed that Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation may be my second favorite character named Ron on a comedy ever.

Then of course there's True Blood...oh sweet, sweet, soooo damn sweet True Blood. I could write sonnets for this show. True Blood confirms something that I've long suspected about television - it's all in the casting. Every single casting decision that Alan Ball has made regarding True Blood has been utterly perfect. Some shows try to inject fresh blood (pardon the pun) and only succeed in taking screen-time away from better characters. The newbies on True Blood just make everything just so exponentially better.

Dennis O'Hare as a vampire King? So brilliant.
Captain Gault from Lost as a douchebag werewolf? Perfect.
James Frain as a British Vampire PI with a serious case of jungle fever? Best. Casting. Decision. Ever. In. The. History. Of. Forever.

True Blood just continues to be the best B-movie level entertainment for smart people.

Well it looks like the seventeenth episode of Party Down has finally loaded. With that, I take my leave, Internet.

May I lick you once more in the future.

Here's a picture of Copperheads Centerfielder, Luis Pollorena, doing a Mariachi dance...just in case you ever wanted to see that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Drunk Off Misery

I never thought my 200th post would be this.

In hindsight, I guess I should have. But in my defense, I am relatively knew to this. There are grown men and women across Northeast Ohio who are familiar with this. They know that complete and abject human misery can be summed up into one word.

The Catch - I wasn't there for that.

The Drive - Wasn't there for that.

The Fumble - Nope.

Red Right 88 - Swimming around somewhere in my father's scrotum.

The Move - I didn't know the Browns existed.

The Blown Save - I was living it up in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey and waiting for Curt Schilling to get healthy for the Phillies.

The Sweep - San Antonio is a good team and we have LeBron so we'll be back.

The 2007 ALCS - It hurts but this is a young team.

The Decision - so this is what it feels like.

Forgive my lack of eloquence, but "this", whatever it is that brings sorrow to the North Coast, plain sucks.

It doesn't suck that LeBron is leaving. We were prepared for that. I stared at the TV for several hours, completely motionless, after the Cavs lost to the Celtics. That is when LeBron left for me.

It doesn't suck because it was expected. Talented 25-year-olds leaving Ohio for brighter lights and bigger cities all the time. I may do it myself one day and I wouldn't want my community to shun me.

It doesn't suck because of the way it was handled. This can be called nothing else than one of the biggest sports-related PR debacles of all time. How someone lets an athlete string a fan base along for two years before breaking up with them on live TV is beyond me. Well...I guess you could say that that technically sucked but it's not why this truly sucked for me.

It sucked because LeBron James is not who I thought he was. It is unrealistic to expect sports to be simple but we expect them to be at least a little less complicated than our day to day lives. LeBron looked like a champion, he sounded like a champion and everyone agreed that one day he would BE a champion. Detractors liked to say that while he was a fine basketball player, he would never be an all-time great. Cleveland disagreed. We looked into the soul of a man the best we could through our LCD TV screens and magazine articles and found a spark of greatness. We didn't believe it was there...we KNEW it was there. It had to be. He was our native son. Our King.

The hardest part of last night was watching a King tip himself over onto the chessboard and declare that he, himself, was not good enough. The man we watched for the past seven years was never a king...only a rook, at best.

And that's what sucked the most.

It hurt last night. It hurt a lot. All I could do was get out my LeBron jersey, lay it out on a table and just wonder what I should do with it. It was still lying there when I woke up this morning.

This is a new chapter and the pain has already begun to subside. Cleveland will bounce back and I will have to bounce back with them. The Indians are not as bad as we think. The Browns finally have competent management. The Cavs will suck for a year and then Byron Scott will be able to recreate the team to his liking.

Life will go on. But I will forever know exactly what "this" feels like. I'm so sorry you had to shoulder so many years of misery, Cleveland. I've been a part of the Northeast Ohio community for a decade. It is now, in our shared misery, that I humbly submit my application for full-time Clevelander status.

As for LeBron, I forgive you. I really do. You are a 25-year-old big kid, insulated by a life in a small city. You don't quite understand what you've done to the city of Cleveland yet but you will someday.

And when they day comes, regardless of how many championship rings you have, you will still have exactly one less than Dwyane Wade.

Enjoy being the Queen.