Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Johnny, You're a Cream Puff!"

I'm sitting here blanking on what to write for this short Reader review I'm doing on Maserati, so I figured I'd just spew out some random Karate Kid thoughts. That'll be a more efficient waste of time . . . right?

The Karate Kid trilogy has been on all day (if you count The Next Karate Kid as being part of the series, then you're an idiot). I already texted Justin about this, but my absolute favorite line from the original Karate Kid, is after Daniel Larusso gets done making up and making out with Elisabeth Shue (who is outrageously out of Ralph Macchio's league) at Golf N' Stuff and shows her that real swanky, vintage yellow car that Mr. Miyagi gave him for his birthday. How a janitor at some rundown apartment complex has ten cars and seems to live in some sort of Xanadu-like Japanese flat in California is beyond me. Anyway, Daniel (Macchio) gives the keys to Ally (Shue) and she says, "You want me to drive?" to which Daniel replies "Hey, it's the 80s!" This makes me laugh every time and always will for the rest of my life.

Cobra Kai is a dynamite band name, and I'm glad that a fantastic band from Cincinnati got to use it. I watched them at the old Buzz coffeehouse one time with I think Russ and Coates. We were standing on a couch to get a view of them playing on the ground, which they were required to do because they were a screamo band, and right when they started, the crowd surged and the legs of the couch gave in and split. The couch, with about 500 pounds of sweaty dude perched on it, fell directly on this kid's foot. How we didn't break that kid's foot or at least turn it into a cartoon-like pancake is beyond me.

Karate Kid, Part III was just on, and is it just me or is Ralph Macchio fat as fuck in the final, dramatic installment of the classic film series? You'd think that the producers, directors, or whoever is actually in charge of making movies would've made him take a couple skips of jump rope before shooting began.

By the way, I love it when trilogies stray away from what made the first movie popular by trying something different in the sequel, only to realize they should've stuck with the formula all along. Karate Kid, Part III reverts back to the same karate tournament, along with Cobra Kai, from the first movie. Die Hard felt the need to bring back a Gruber to play nemesis to John McClain in its third installment. Finally, Indiana Jones knew exactly what was missing from Temple of Doom. That's right, fucking Nazis. So, it wisely has Indiana duel with them again in The Last Crusade. You just can't beat the entertainment value of killing Nazis.

ABC Family is showing The Next Karate Kid right now! Fuck that. Just because Mr. Miyagi is in it doesn't make it true to the catalog. The titles contain "Karate Kid" not "Small Japanese man that wants you to paint his house and sand his deck in return for a couple of defensive moves that could've been learned in 15 minutes of training."

If you didn't know or remember, Hilary Swank is the "Next Karate Kid." Is Hilary Swank good looking? I know this was a subplot of a recent Office episode, but it's a good question. I say yes. Plus, Million Dollar Baby has been on AMC or something recently, and I like it the more and more I see it. Conclusion: I'm a Hilary Swank fan.

Did you know the part of Marty McFly from Back to the Future was initially offered to Ralph Macchio and he turned it down? I heard this at some point in my life and have since rendered it a fact. Just think, Macchio could've also played the role of Doc Hollywood, Teen Wolf, and other Fox roles that are probably just as bad. Still, it would've been a step up for Macchio, who I'm pretty sure only had one role after Karate Kid, Part III and that was Vinny's cousin in, you guessed it, My Cousin Vinny.

That's all I've got for now, plus I don't want to tread over anything Bill Simmons has mentioned before in his podcast or column. Regardless, I'd have to rank the original Karate Kid as being in the top three of my most re-watchable 80s movies. The other two are probably Rocky IV: Rocky Defeats Communism (I've reinvented the title for dramatic effect) and Airplane!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Living Without Cable.

I've got a major decision to make. I don't give two shits whether or not it makes me seem shallow and too dependent on an entertainment medium that's primary goal is to dish out mindless garbage. I know several people that don't have cable and seem to be somewhat well rounded individuals. That's all fine and dandy, but to be honest, I can't keep an eye on them every hour of the day. So who knows how their over stimulated mind is occupying itself the rest of the day? They could be plotting some sort of cult-like mass suicide or a way to wipe out all of the newborn kittens from the planet. The possibilities are endless. Sickos.

First and foremost, I use cable to watch sports and keep up on excruciating soap operas, such as Brett Favre hoodwinking an entire nation of football fans into thinking he's the greatest quarterback ever or A-Rod injecting muscle makers and sullying his stellar career (I literally just got done watching a half-hour SportsCenter segment on a press conference. A fucking press conference. You just can't deny the entertainment value of nitpicking, bit by bit, each facial expression and slight movement A-Rod makes in a public apology). Aside from sports, I also utilize cable for the Food Network, History Channel programs concerning the Nazis and World War II, Rocky marathons, and the occasional Seinfeld rerun.

Let it be known that I grew up without cable, so this wouldn't be some sort of life altering change. The cable guy would come to my house on a monthly basis and tell my mom that we were the only family on the block that didn't have cable. I guess he was trying to guilt her into not being a part of the westside Delhi click of cable users. She laughed in his face, and said she didn't care. I always thought that was awesome of her. I mean, who gives a fuck that we don't have cable?

Anyway, I'll be moving into a nice new place next month in Chicago's lovely Logan Square neighborhood. The guy I'm moving in with doesn't have cable right now, and I've been debating whether or not it's worth my while (from an expense standpoint as well). Not living in Cincinnati makes it a little easier because I'm already missing the Bengals and Reds losing on regular occasions. No big problems there. I've recently been sifting through all the extracurricular activities I'll be able to accomplish without feeling responsible for watching three different ESPN sports variety shows that hash over the exact same topics.

I could begin gardening and raising squash, become part of a mystery book club, learn the ins and outs of cajun cooking, build a model ship in a bottle, knit a sweater, eat a block of cheese the size of a car battery, finally alphabetize my records, wax the kitchen floor, shred whatever I can find in my paper shredder, take my computer apart just to see what's inside, flip my mattress, become a Big Brother to a troubled inner city youth, learn how to do a handstand and a proper cartwheel, or write the great American novel. These are all fine occupiers of time.

Right now, I'm leaning towards cable because I can't imagine getting rid of it before the start of March Madness and the baseball season. That would just be too painful. Plus, they've been showing First Blood a lot on AMC recently, and lord knows that I'll never go against Rambo.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Flying Body Parts.

I've gotta admit that I've been having some bad luck lately. Probably not too many things more terrifying than riding your bike and having your handlebar stem snap, thus leaving you with nothing to rest your hands on and anticipating an imminent doom. Needless to say, I braced myself for a spill and somehow flipped over my bike and landed on my tailbone, relatively unscathed. Unreal.

Now, I was initially a bit shaky getting back on the bike following my brief and violent meeting with a car in early January. After a couple of rides, though, my knee was feeling fine and so I hopped back on the horse. Then this happened. I know that it may seem like good luck in a way because I've pretty much come out of both accidents with minimal damage. Still though . . . fuck. I'm sick of falling off my bike for shit that wasn't my fault. The concrete hurts my bones and skin. I'm a relatively cautious and aware rider, and I know this happens, but my brittle, old body just can't take much more.

The Pro Bowl's on right now. Who knew that or even gave a fuck? It's about time for a baseball preview don't you think? Baseball's the best. Stay tuned.