Monday, June 29, 2009

Who you callin' McLovin?

I don't look like McLovin.

Not that it is good or bad. I just don't resemble him. So you can imagine my surprise when an opponent on the basketball court called me by that name as he prepared to guard me.

It was a 3-on-3 contest. There was a group of five friends and I was the loner. So as each player decided which person to defend, one chubby African-American fellow said this:

"I've got McLovin."

Then he D-ed me up -- for about two seconds before I burned him to the hole for a layup. For good measure he slapped me straight across the arm, but that didn't stop me. You see, it's not wise to get me angry on the court. Not wise at all.

Maybe this guy called me McLovin' because I'm white and I look like a guy who got beat up in high school. Who knows? Either way, I took offense. It was not used as a nice joke, but more in a "look at this dweeb trying to play me" manner. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with McLovin. The actor actually seems like a cool dude. He likes Boston teams and I bet he has little problem with the females. But still, I didn't like it.

So after burning him that first time, I outrebounded the shit out of him the next few plays and blazed past him to the hoop once again. I also ended up scoring the winning basket because he got lazy on defense and I cut to the basket for an easy point.

Score one for Steve, indeed.

I've been known to have a temper when playing sports. During college, I played one-on-one touch football and lost my cool several times. I tangled with a seven-foot Chinese guy at the Marino Center once because he kept elbowing me in the face. We had to be separated.

Last year on the same court this guy hit me in the head more than once, so when I had the chance, I buried my shoulder into him like a safety does to a wide receiver. He didn't like that too much, but too f'in bad.

Don't get me upset.

And never call me McLovin.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Holy #&%$!

I'll let the rest of the civilized world and the clever Facebook community comment on Michael Jackson's legacy today.

I leave the computer/TV for a few hours today, call my mom and find out that one of the biggest musical stars this planet will ever see died at 50. If it weren't for my Catholic mom, I would have screeched, "Holy %$*&!"

The "Holy ^%$&!" deaths have been very common the past year or so. Last year, I walked into work one day and saw every TV screen in the building telling me Heath Ledger had died. That was a shocker.

Then I'm in a New Zealand Starbucks a few months later and buried deep in the paper is the news of the sudden death of Tim Russert. Another stunner.

And then today. I'm not totally stunned because we all knew Michael Jackson was not too well, but still, he was just 50 years old.

The biggest "Holy @%$^!" death of all time - with consideration to JFK Jr. and Princess Di - for me was Phil Hartman. By all accounts a nice man and a great comedian, he was shot in his sleep by his wife, who then went on to kill herself hours later. I never expect people to be shot in their sleep, but if I were to expect it for celebrities, Phil Hartman would have been last on the list. I was dumbstruck.

Like billions of other people today, I think I'll go on YouTube and go through some of his greatest hits. It will take a while.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Even Think About It

So maybe I'm a bit paranoid. But this worries me.

We've seen this story before, us Red Sox fans. Wade Boggs riding the horse. Roger Clemens winning a World Series. Johnny Damon going corporate. And the most painful one ... Mike Stanley.

So when I read that the Yankees were watching Pedro Martinez pitch, a small ulcer formed in my stomach.

Pedro is demanding $3 million and teams aren't exactly tripping over each other for his services at that price.

But still ... just the mere possibility of him in pinstripes makes me want to puke. Pedro Martinez might be my favorite athlete ever. (It's close with Tom Brady.) Any Red Sox fan who watched this guy paint masterpiece after masterpiece will tell you it was an out-of-body to watch him. He's the best pitcher I have watched. Others, like Randy Johnson, are more accomplished, but Pedro put up Bob Gibson numbers in the middle of the steroid era and he did it with a theatrical flair. He helped turn the Red Sox into the phenomenon they are today.

So obviously he can't be allowed to don the pinstripes. Some things just can't happen.

It's also sad to see where he is today, jobless, unwanted, and far past his prime. A future Hall of Famer trying out for teams. It's like Jack Nicholson auditioning for a movie role. And, as stubborn as always, he does not seem close on accepting a bargain-basement deal that teams only seem willing to offer.

It's not impossible to envision the Yankees just throwing some money at him and plucking him into their rotation, putting Joba Chamberlain back in the bullpen. Likely? Perhaps not. But certainly possible.

So here's hoping some team - preferably in the NL - gives him a shot for one last go-around. That way, he can go out the way he wants. Just don't do it in the Bronx, for all that is good and holy in this world.

Murder at the White House

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Murder in the White House - Fly Widow Interview
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

This is pretty damn funny. When I first saw the tape of Obama killing the fly, I joked to myself that PETA would be very upset. Sadly, they actually had something to say about it.


Monday, June 15, 2009

You say you want a revolution?

I'm no international affairs major, but it looks like Iran is in trouble.

The bassist for the hit group "The Axis of Evil," Iran is always in the news here. They're pursuing nuclear weapons, which makes the U.S. angry and Israel very, very angry. It might be funding the insurgency in Iraq. Its president (not its leader) thinks the Holocaust is a fairy tale, which is a pretty good sign he's the ultimate panderer or completely insane.

Now he might have just stolen an election. Who knows? The numbers are fishy and many Iranians are taking to the streets.

It's easy to see images of burning cars and club-wielding police beating the shit out of anyone they happen to see and think, "That would never happen in America!"

Except it has. Just look at Vietnam or any time a sports teams wins a championship. We are lucky that our government is much more accepting of street protests than others. For that we should be thankful. (But they still have their moments, like Kent State.)

What runs through my mind looking at all the carnage on TV? I say good for them. They think an election was stolen by a crackpot president and his theocratic, Wizard of Oz boss the Ayatollah and they're pissed. They should be. And they should take to the streets. Americans only take to the streets these days when Denny's promises them breakfast for free or their sports team wins a trophy.

Despite Iran's reputation here for being an evil country, the citizens in its biggest cities are not all that different from the citizens in our biggest cities. They are more metropolitan and educated than most of their Mideast neighbors and they seek a thaw in the relationship in the West. They probably have HBO on their TVs and iPhones in their pockets.

Sure, they'll lose. And Mahmoud Ahnegnfggjkfohndoig will remain president, but at least the backward forces in that country are feeling the heat.

And speaking of backward forces, we have our own mini revolution brewing, sans the guns and fire. Health care reform is coming. Even the morons in Congress know Americans have had it and change is coming.

But it won't be easy and it may not be done right.

The facts are well known. More than 40 million Americans don't have health insurance. Around 60 percent of personal bankruptcies come from onerous medical bills. Even people with health insurance fear for the day they actually need to use it for a big procedure because the premiums and the co-pays would be huge. It's a swinging guillotine over the heads of just about every non-filthy rich, non silver-haired, pot-bellied politician in this country.

The debate now hinges on whether health care reform will include a public option, meaning the government getting into the health care business to compete with private insurers. A European style Single-payer (the dream of many liberals) will not happen. But even centrist Democrats and most Republicans oppose the public option.

Their idea of health care reform? "Can you private insurers, you hospitals, you pharmaceutical companies lower costs a little bit? Pweety Pweease?"

It will all hinge, like everything else in Washington today, on a few moderate Senators in the lovely United State Congress (sponsored by Pfizer). I hope they know that private insurers have had plenty of time to reign in costs, to make life-saving procedures affordable, to encourage people to get check-ups in order to avoid costly ER bills, but they haven't for the most part. If you work a part-time job, a job with no health plan or if you lose your job, then health insurance is a distant dream.

And yeah, we can come up with the money somehow. Anytime the Department of Defense asks for another $40 billion or a bank asks for $40 billion, we come up with the money. So I don't want to hear that excuse when it comes time to providing health care - a basic right no matter what Sean Hannity says - to our own citizens.
Not to get all weepy here, but this is about life and death. People die because our systems is so out of whack. They die every day. And if the government providing a cheaper option is the way to lower costs across the board, then so be it. The private companies won't do it by themselves. They tend not to give a shit about anything other than profit.

Force is needed because it should not be a bottom-line business, like Hollywood or Wall Street. Whether or not someone receives a necessary procedure should never come down to just numbers on a balance sheet. Again, this is life and death. Sometimes in America, we need a reminder that not everything should be about quarter-to-quarter growth and profit margins.

This is the most important domestic issue in the U.S. today. And a revolution is needed, maybe not in the form of lighting a car on fire, but in reminding our representatives in Washington that we put them there, not Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and that we can just as easily kick them out.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Listapalooza Part 2

You can never have enough lists ...

Top Movies I Have to Keep Watching if I See Them on TV
5. Airplane!
4. A Time to Kill
3. My Cousin Vinny
2. The Rock
1. A Few Good Men

Top 5 non-sports video games
5. Duck Hunt
4. Sonic the Hedgehog
3. Contra -- An insane game with the most famous cheat code in history.
2. Super Mario Brothers -- All the games have merged into one in my memory. I still love Yoshi and the timeless music.
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II -- This was the arcade version, a much-improved sequel to the impossible-to-beat first TMNT game. I celebrated in the street with my friend when I beat this game -- and I'm not kidding.

Top 3 cartoons that scared me a young'n
3. He-Man
2. Sleeping Beauty -- For whatever reason, the ending really freaked me out, especially when the evil lady at the end formed into a dragon.
1. Popeye -- Just look at him!

Top celebrity crushes (formative years)
5. Mariah Carey
4. Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies)
3. Summer Sanders
2. Jennifer Love Hewitt
1. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Most embarrassing songs on my iPod

5. Nobody's Home -- Avril Lavigne
4. Building a Mystery -- Sarah McLachan
3. Love Will Lead You Back -- Taylor Dane
2. Time of My Life -- Dirty Dancing (Not my fault. This song was drilled into my head since my sisters watched this movie about 4 billion times.)
1. Hit Me Baby (One More Time) -- Britney Spears

Top songs that are among my favorites you may not know
5. Dreaming of You -- The Coral
4. Mr. Writer -- Stereophonics
3. Munich -- The Editors
2. I'm Stupid -- Prime STH
1. Morning Afterglow -- Electracy: If you listened to WBRU in the late 1990's, you knew this song. How was it not a huge hit???

Top TV shows that left us too soon
5. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles -- A recent casualty
4. Undeclared -- A show about kids moving to college just when I was moving to college
3. 3 South -- It was funny and worthwhile, so obviously MTV canceled it.
2. Arrested Development -- I can't criticize since I didn't watch it while it was on TV either.
1. Andy Richter Controls the Universe -- A kookier, crazier, earlier version of The Office, right down to the "guy has crush on cute receptionist" theme.

Top RI foods I miss the most
5. Clam Cakes
4. Awful Awfuls
3. Doughboys -- Loved Iggy's and McCoy Stadium's doughboys. They call it fried dough down here ... morons.
2. Coffee milk -- I still get my share, but it's hard work
1. More clam cakes

Top bands/performers rock radio stations should play if they want me to change the channel

5. Ozzy Osbourne
4. Beastie Boys
2. Kid Rock
1. Nickleback

Top people with whom I'd love to have lunch

5. Bill Belichick
4. Natalie Portman
3. Kiefer Sutherland
2. Barack Hussein Obama
1. Eddie Vedder

Top personal travel destinations

5. Hawaii
4. Canada
3. England
2. Germany
1. Seattle

Top "Why haven't I been there yet?" places

5. Philadelphia

4. Bunker Hill

3. Basketball Hall of Fame

2. Block Island

1. Baseball Hall of Fame

Friday, June 5, 2009

Analyze This

Yes, I have Google Analytics. No, I don't use it to bump up my traffic. If I wanted to do that, I would write about boobs and puppies.

I use it for the map.

Google Analytics tracks hits to the site, the location of those hits and how they found themselves at my tiny, tiny blog. A banner day for this blog is five hits in 24 hours. People have come here googling "words with b in the middle" and "almost famous steve sears."

I wasn't in the movie.

I've been found through the search of "jeff schaible." I can only presume it's Jeff googling himself, as he does every day. "famous people from mcallen" shows up. I have no idea why. "Man cleveage" brought someone to this site and good thing it did. I covered that topic already.

It's fun to see what random ways people use to find this site, intentionally or not. But my favorite thing is the map. It tracks the location of all my visitors and there are some interesting results.

First, I'm huge in New York. It's by far the state that visits me most. I guess it has to be Gisele from her New York apartment, keeping tabs on me in case I try to steal her husband. Next up, the great state of Massachusetts, followed by Florida and Nevada (hello, Pascone.)

The most interesting tidbit? I have more hits from Ohio and Texas the past 30 days than I do from Rhode Island. In all, I've been visited by 17 of the 50 states in this union. (The above plus California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.) My goal is all 50. So if you ever find yourself in a random state, like Idaho or Arkansas, just come here for one second. That's all I ask.

Oh, and my appeal is not limited to the great people of the USA. I have fans in Great Britain, Italy, Greece, India, Canada, Paraguay, Ecuador, France and Malta. Average time on my blog for most of these countries? Zero seconds. Zero! These poor people were so horrified by what they saw, they altered time and space to vanish from my den of debauchery in no time - and I mean that literally.

Let me make it clear. I do not update this blog semi-regularly because I seek fame or fortune, though it seems both of those will be heading my way momentarily. (I know the Sears brand can play in Portugal.) I do this for my loyal fans, who have stuck with me through thick and thin. You average nearly 30 seconds a visit here. Thank you! For the time you could spend watching a beer commercial, a male enhancement commercial or a Julio Lugo at-bat, you spend your rapidly dwindling amount of seconds on this earth here.

There's no greater honor I could have. Google Analytics can never measure this.