Sunday, March 17, 2013


Thursday, June 16, 2011


this is dirk. he likes his 5's high and his hair flowing. he is now an nba champion. i didn't want either of the miami heat or dallas mavericks competing for the championship, which made both conference finals difficult to watch. but i chose to align myself with dirk nowitzki, and it was the first time since the 2002-2003 season (that's when he played alongside favorite players, steve nash and nick van exel) that i had done so. 

this may come as a surprise to some of you knowing that lebron james and i have been as close as best friends can be over the past few years and you may wonder why i rooted against his team. it's a bit complicated, but i would like to give a brief explanation. i've been roommates with lebron this season and we've been through a lot. he's been playing under more scrutiny than any athlete has probably ever endured and i've been his shoulder to cry on and ice cream supplier on the nights when he was ready to fold. after the chicago series, lebron was in high spirits because he shut down mvp, derrick rose, and did everything right and miami only needed 5 games to win the series. he was closing out games like he was getting paid to (which he is) and sportswriters were comparing him to michael jordan. i wanted chicago to win the series, because i had been telling lebron to give it a season to see if he really wanted to win his first championship with this miami team. you only win your first time once and do you really want to win it with juwan howard? i wouldn't either. but they won the series and he played well and seemed happy and that made me happy and i suggested that we play a game of sorry to celebrate, but also to take our minds off of basketball for a little while. he agreed. since he was in a such a good mood, i thought it would be fun to throw a few zings at him.  i started to do this after the boston series to help keep him grounded. when i beat him in sorry after that series, i knelt down on one knee and did the same pose that he did after beating boston and held that position for nearly two hours. lebron laughed for about 45 minutes of that time, but then became annoyed and told me to quit playin'. this time around he asked me what color pieces i wanted to be. to answer his question, i re-enacted "the decision" and started to tell him my choice, but paused as though it was difficult, and then said "i will be taking my talents to the blue pieces," and he smiled, but i could tell he didn't care much for my joke, but i don't know when to stop, and before we sat down to play the game i pulled out some chalk powder and threw it in the air. but i had too much in my hands and it got all over the board and in lebron's eyes and when he started to yell in pain, some of the powder fell in his mouth and produced a wheezy cough, which caused a cartoonish puff of white powder to blow out of his mouth. i laughed, but lebron was furious and told me that i should quit playing and suggested that i find a new place to live. as he said that, puffs of powder continued to exit his mouth and i defensively said, "sure, that's fine, but gimme the news, not the weather, man." and then i packed up my stuff upset that lebron couldn't take a joke and more upset because i didn't know where i was going to stay. i called up my old friend, dirk, to see if i could crash at his place, but he was afraid i would distract him, but gave me jj barea's number and told me that he should have room for me. i wasn't too excited about calling, because i had engaged in some pretty intense heckling of jj when dallas visited miami during the regular season, but i ended up making the call out of desperation. turns out he wasn't too excited to hear from me either and asked, "why should i let you stay with me?" i answered, "because i'm taller than you and it will be fun." 

my moving in with jj barea proved to be detrimental to his offensive productivity during the first half of the series. the reason why was before game 1 in miami, the two of us rented rollerblades so we could blade along the miami beaches and impress women with our tricks and shirtless beach bodies, but i don't know any tricks and my shirtless beach body is nowhere near what it should be, so i was going to film jj with my shirt on and then post the videos on youtube so he could not only impress women in person, but also electronically. we had the option to rent wrist guards and jj was looking like he wanted to and started talking about something in his contract that forbids extreme sports during the season, but i told him that we didn't need them and that it was just more money and how they would have made us look less cool. he was still nervous about it, but since he would have been the only one wearing them, he didn't rent the wrist guards. we started to cruise down the boardwalk and i spotted a bench that is perfect for doing women-impressing rollerblade tricks. jj gave himself some room to obtain proper speed and eventual air and i got the camera ready.  jj rolled right up to the bench and jumped over it, clearing it with ease. there were three girls that were watching and they about lost their minds after he landed the jump. one of them walked up to me and asked, "how long have you guys been aggressive inline skating?" and i thought she was serious so i told her, "i can't speak for jj, but i've been doing this off and on for about 15 years." and she laughed in my face and i could smell that she had just finished some taco bell. and since she was making fun of us, i asked her how long she had been eating cheesy bean & rice burritos from taco bell. she told me i had some nerve asking a question like that. and i told her she had some nerve eating all of those burritos without me. we then stared at each other for a few seconds because she was trying to figure out if i had just made a move on her and i was trying to figure out the same thing, but deep down i knew i hadn't. jj had heard her mocking laughter and thought that in order to get her to respect the sport we love, he would have to do something even sicker. he bladed backwards in three smooth circles, stopped, and then started to blade towards the bench again. i was so amp'd at this point, because when jj blades with purpose there's no telling what kind of sickness he'll come down with, you know what i mean? he gets about four feet away from the bench and jumps and i can see that he's setting up for a fishbrain grind and i can hardly contain myself, because he's about to impress three women at the same time. only he didn't, because he jumped too soon and hit his left front wheel on the bench and was going headfirst towards the cement, but luckily caught himself with his hands. the girls laughed and polluted the air with their chalupa breath and i bladed over to jj's aid. he was holding on to his right wrist and he shoots with his right hand and that's why he didn't shoot well during the first half of the finals. i was nervous about it, but i spoke to dallas coach, rick carlisle, and told him everything and how it was my fault and that he should go easy on jj. coach carlisle was surprisingly understanding and all he did was make a cheesy smile and say "alrighty then," and "sssmokin'!" and i thought that was nice of him, but it turns out that i was actually talking to jim carrey. coach carlisle never heard about the wrist injury and played jj as much as he normally would. luckily his wrist healed and he came through during the second half of the series.

the crazy thing is lebron didn't see me in the stands until game 4. there was a moment during the pregame shoot around where we made eye contact. i was sitting behind the dallas bench wearing my nick van exel mavericks jersey. lebron's mouth dropped open and a basketball dropped from his hand and he  would never be the same after that. you see, lebron didn't realize how much he missed me. word got back to me that he had been asking around to see where i had been staying and when he found out that it was with jj and heard about all the fun we were having, he felt left out, and that's a hard feeling to shake.

other reasons for lebron's meltdown might be some of the things i had told him before the finals. i got in the bad habit of giving terrible advice as a joke, but like always, lebron didn't know i was joking. i told him that winning and giving effort were becoming too mainstream and that if he wanted to be cool, he should stop doing both of those things. i also brought up that charles barkley is one of the best nba players to never win a championship and that if lebron really wanted to stick it to him for being highly critical of lebron signing with miami, he should take the title of the best nba player to never win a championship.

once again, so many things have been written and said about lebron, but he did and didn't do a lot of things in that series that made us all ask, "what's he doing? why is he not attacking the rim? why is mario chalmers at the line more than lebron? why is he passing the ball to juwan howard? how is shawn marion scoring so easily on him when marion literally shoots from the hip?" it was weird, and even though i didn't want the heat to win, it wasn't easy to watch. 

i like watching lebron play, but especially when he was the guy in cleveland. the way he attacked the rim and distributed the ball and won as much as he did with mo williams as the next best option was pretty amazing. his celebrations didn't seem as fake as they do now, but maybe i, along with everyone else, have just become more critical of him. during these playoffs, he started to make that goofy face while he screams and bobs his head (the face can be seen in the picture below). it kind of gave the same feeling that kobe's underbite growl face gives me. it just all began to feel overwhelmingly calculated. it was like he and teammate, chris bosh, were trying to outdo each other for the most awkward celebrations (by the way, chris bosh won hands down with the creepy way he licked his lips and each time he flexed and screamed). it got to the point where i just wanted dwyane wade to shoot every time so i didn't have to see the other two celebrate. i like how wade stares down the crowd in a way that says, "yes, i know i just did something more athletic than anyone besides lebron james can do on this court." he has a natural cool about him that lebron and bosh don't have. wade had a few great games during the series and there were stretches where he was doing whatever wanted with the ball. the crazy part is that he appeared to be doing it all half asleep. he has a look on his face that makes him appear to have hit the after party before the game even started. he injured his hip during the first half of game 5,  and then after he hit a big shot in the second half he made a goofy face as he ran up the court. little did we know that the headline "wade hurts his hip" would carry two meanings. i wish whatever bosh has wasn't so contagious.

while watching the finals, i also asked the question, "what's going on in there?" in reference to jason kidd's head anytime the cameras were on him. he looks and sounds like he is elsewhere. jeff van gundy said that he likes jason kidd's demeanor and that he's always poised and not afraid of the moment, but when you have no idea what's going on it's pretty easy to not fear the moment. i asked the same question every time he threw a pass into the seventh row instead of to a cutting shawn marion, who started towards the basket three seconds before kidd threw the pass to where marion was just at. it was those kind of plays in the first four games, as well as the poor shooting by most players besides dirk, that made it hard to breathe until the fourth quarter when they seemed to put something together. it also might have had to do with how their poor passing contrasted with miami's great passing. i could watch lebron and dwyane wade pass a basketball back and forth all day. 

i'm glad dirk got his ring, and even jason kidd (hit some big shots). i usually can't stand jason terry and jj barea, but the way they played big boy basketball on the biggest stage made me respect them. 

dallas, it was a good six game fling. i hope we never have another. 

what it comes down to is that lebron james can't win. whatever he does or doesn't do is going to be puzzled over and picked apart by anyone who cares about basketball. i don't care that he's playing in miami anymore. if i had the option to work with my friends in nice weather, i would too. but the guy is getting paid big money to be an entertainer and a winner and he was neither of those things during the last few games. but even if he never wins as many championships as jordan or kobe, i'd rather hang out with lebron. he lets me be the blue pieces. 

2011 nba finals stories that didn't receive enough media coverage:
  • we went into this series knowing that either mike bibby or peja stojakovic would finally be getting a ring after they were robbed of one while playing on the 2002 sacramento kings (see tim donaghy).
  • juwan howard is the only fab 5 player to play in the nba finals (chris webber would have been the first with the 2002 sacramento kings if it wasn't for tim donaghy).
  • deshawn stevenson was the first player in nba history to compete in and win the finals with a backwards pittsburgh pirates logo tattooed on his face. to be more specific, he is the first player in nba history to go 13-23 from 3land in the nba finals with a backwards pittsburgh pirates logo tattooed on his face.
  • after cameras caught chris bosh collapsing in tears in the tunnel leading to the locker room after game 6, we now know he was one of the players who was crying in the miami locker room when coach erik spoelstra said that there were players in the miami locker room crying after a losing streak towards the end of the regular season.

the pose after the boston series.

mike miller is the guy with the ball in his hand. until this season, the majority of the games he has played in have been irrelevant, so he's still learning how to celebrate important victories. this picture shows him getting ready to throw the ball at the back of lebron's head. taj gibson (bulls) looks on with childlike wonder as lebron braces himself for the 2011 version of miller time. and that's udonis haslem just being himself.

dirk is neither waving hello nor goodbye. he's getting your attention, because he wants to high 5 you and hates to be left hanging. the only hanging he wants to be doing is from a rim 10 feet above a hardwood floor right after he's slam dunked it on chris bosh's face.

i'd like to dedicate this post and this youtube video to my brother, nick, on his birthday. back in '95, nick and i loved this commercial. it was the toughest thing i'd seen or heard at the time. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

F  A   C    E     H      A       I   facehair     R.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Yo. Spizz Kid reminded me that I'm due for a posting. I thought I'd just let everyone know whats going on in Richmond, VA. Still no NFL or NBA teams sadly, but I'm happy to report the Flying Squirrels have come to richmond, and they are one of the finest in minor leauge baseball. Also Richmond still has lots of poor people with really messed up teeth. I'm so glad I get to tell them that they have to pay $150 to the get xrays and exam just to figure out how bad the damage is.

Another cool thing about Richmond VA is that it just got a hot and up coming cover band called MerBear. You may know the drummer from of MerBear from previous great collaborations with the ERC, such as Devils Throat. If you want to check them out go here

They actually might be the first cover band to sign a real record deal, knock on wood. The picure below is of the 140lb bear that inspired the band name. Nobody has captured a picture of the Mermaid that also inspired the band name.

And I'm still dating an chinese girl. She's great, i think she might make a great tiger mom some day.

Also i just bought my first mac, there is a learning curve to these things, and they are freaking expensive too, but i guess its worth it.

Anywhoooo i love this blog, may it live on forever.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

a friend of mine once told me, "there's nothing on this good earth quite like lounging with a machete."

since then, it's been my understanding, correct me if i'm wrong, that if each of us owned a machete and a hammock and knew how to use them, we'd be a much happier people.  

(a machete wrapped in a hammock with the above quote written on a card makes for a fun and easy wedding gift! do your part to make people happier!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

about a month ago i went to chicago. it was a christmas surprise for my brother as planned by his wife. i flew from salt lake city to detroit and had planned to board a connecting flight to milwaukee, where i would be picked up and driven to chicago. until recent years, i had never met anyone from milwaukee and was ready to see the city for the first time. when i was younger, i would joke with friends that milwaukee was where i wanted to go, because i thought the name was unusual and that made it funny. no one ever talked about wanting to go to milwaukee, and all i knew about the place were its professional sports teams. i don't think that milwaukee's name is as unusual anymore, and it's definitely not as funny, but i carry stuff like that with me and i guess seeing milwaukee would have been like tying up a loose end by fulfilling a false longing. the layover in detroit was supposed to be two hours, but because of snow it ended up being around seven. i switched to a chicago flight, and milwaukee remains a mystery.

while sitting in detroit, i thought about how airports used to have some magic to them. the obvious reason being that you were about to get on an airplane and fly, but also the way luggage appeared at the baggage claim was nothing short of magic. how did my stuff get to utah when the last time i saw it was thousands of miles away in virginia? who decides the order in which luggage arrives at the baggage claim? as a curious boy, those were questions i had. i didn't ask them because when you find out the real answers, the magic leaves. i don't know exactly when, but one time i looked out an airport window and saw men and women in bright orange reflective vests transporting bags from planes to carts to conveyor belts, and i had my answer. the answer didn't involve teleportation or an elaborate underground tunnel system. it was just the lifting and wheeling of good ol' fashioned manual labor. the magic was gone.

i thought about that as i saw the same orange vests moving around luggage, and then i looked over at a group of payphones and saw a man talking on one of them. it took me a second to realize how unordinary that is nowadays, but i couldn't help but feel that that man at the payphone knew where all the airport magic had gone to. he looked around with tired eyes as he made his call. they looked like the eyes of a man who still makes payphone calls and has his mind blown every time someone reminds him how to copy and paste on his desktop computer and that's more endearing than whatever else it is. 

there he was just resisting change on a payphone (but was he really? because he needed loose change to use the payphone, unless he had a calling card or was calling collect, right? (that was a joke, but a dangerous one, because it's not very funny)) and looking around at 50 people on smartphones, keeping themselves connected to a world he's not a part of. while watching this, an announcement over the speakers informed the airport that someone had left their bluetooth on an airplane. i thought about the phone mobility spectrum and how the payphone and bluetooth are on opposite ends. eventually the man was either done with his call or ran out of change. either way, he sat across from me and started reading a novel that all men who use payphones probably read. i couldn't read the title, because it was hidden by his payphone dialing fingers.

updates about flight delays would come over the speakers and the payphone caller would look up from his book and make eye contact. he couldn't believe his payphone listening ears. his eyes looked nervous now. i wanted to tell him that it was going to be fine and offer my phone if he needed to make any calls, but i didn't, because he might not have been nervous and i wasn't sure where my false assumption would lead. i started listening to my ipod and played music that was mostly instrumental and more on the mellow side. it kind of slowed everything down and made it all seem cinematic and more meaningful than it actually was. that happens sometimes. i can be reading something while listening to a song and every word of an email, a book, an article, or any written word becomes way more dramatic than it actually is. 
and i'm sure you've all experienced something like that some time or another, because music can manipulate emotion, for better or worse. that's why i listen to happy music whenever i write anything.  that way if it comes out sounding sad, i must have been really sad. 

i eventually boarded my flight to chicago. i wasn't looking forward to the flight, because my new seat was 6b, and i thought that meant i was in a middle seat, but it turned out to be an aisle seat ,because it was a smaller plane and i ended up having a bunch of leg room since it was right behind first class and i've heard people refer to something like that as a bonus. after taking my seat, we had to sit in the plane on the ground for about 30 minutes before we could take off because of snow in chicago, but the guy next to me was on the phone with someone and when he ended the call he told me that the person who he was talking to was in chicago and they said it wasn't snowing at all. i shook my head in a way that made it seem like i was saying "typical chicago. this sort of thing happens to me all the time," but i've rarely flown to chicago and that sort of thing only happens to me sometimes. i was kind of annoyed at that point, though, because i was wearing a lot of layers and was really warm but didn't want to remove any of the layers, because i only had a carry on suitcase that was full and the layers would have just been more loose stuff to keep track of. and it's usually just annoying when you think you're going to arrive somewhere sooner than you actually do, right?

the guy seated next to me was wearing a suit and his hair was slick and i thought he looked like he would be easy to listen to if he wanted to talk, but we didn't say much to each other until the end of the flight. it wasn't a very long flight and i was in and out of sleep most of the time and didn't wake up until we began our descent. we experienced some turbulence and the guy next to me reached for the middle arm rest, but my arm was already there and he put his arm over mine for a second and i let him pull away, because if we both pulled away at the same time it would have been more awkward. my ears began to pop so i pulled out a pack of gum and began chewing a piece, and whenever i pull out a pack of gum i feel the need to offer to whoever's around me. they've seen that i have a pack and i feel rude if i don't at least offer. i didn't think he even saw, but i still thought about it. i mean, we hadn't been talking at all and i had recently woken up from being in and out of sleep and i wasn't sure if my voice was currently at the level it needed to be to ask without sounding like i was nervous from over analyzing  whether or not i should offer him a piece of gum, plus i needed to take into account the high level of plane noise. and maybe he would think i was just offering because i thought he needed something to calm his nerves after he grabbed the arm rest the way he did, and i understand why he wouldn't have appreciated that. it became the most calculated gum offer. do i just hold out the pack of gum and kind of point at it with my head? do i say, "you want a piece?" while holding out the pack? do i have a piece of gum in my hand before i offer so he doesn't have to fumble with the pack?  i ended up saying, "you want a piece?" while holding out the pack, but he shook his head and said, "naw." he responded in a way that seemed like he'd been declining gum offers his whole life and that's an ability that some people have.

after that, i looked out the window and saw flakes of snow flashing by as they caught the light from the plane. they looked like laser special effects from a 70s sci-fi film. i couldn't stop looking out the window and the guy next to me looked over to see if i was looking at him since i was in the aisle seat. i didn't look away, because like if i had pulled my arm away earlier, it would have made it more awkward, and i don't think he realized how much it looked like we were journeying through space and time.

once the plane landed, we rode around on the ground for another 15 minutes. the guy asked me where i was from and why i was in chicago. i hesitantly told him i was from virginia, because that's what i say when i'm in utah, but i was in chicago. i also told him i was in chicago surprising my brother as planned by my brother's wife. he told me he had lived in southern virginia, but i spent almost all my time in the northern part of the state, so our southern virginia conversation didn't last long. he's originally from miami and i made some comment about how i wouldn't mind being there right then because of the weather. he smiled and said he hated the cold. i asked him if he was a miami heat fan, because they're a big deal right now, and i've also never been to miami and i only know about the heat (two meanings). he said that he is. i said that the heat were really starting to put it together, because this conversation happened a month ago and that's when they were really starting to put it together. he agreed. he lives in detroit now and works in the auto industry and talked about how things were starting to look up. i nodded. i asked him what he was doing in chicago and he told me about  how he was originally going to come to chicago because he had won tickets at work or somewhere, but he ended up giving them to a co-worker or someone like that, but for a reason i can't remember he had to come to chicago anyway. it was time to exit the plane and i helped him grab his coat and his luggage from the overhead bins and we told each other it was a pleasure meeting and wished each other a happy holiday. 

walking into o'hare airport, i was greeted by angry customers who were waiting to board the airplane i was just on. they didn't seem happy about our delayed arrival and stared at me in a way that made me feel like it was my fault. i played it cool and kept on walking, but not that cool, because a wheel on my suitcase squeaks.

my brother was asleep when we got to their place and seemed more confused than surprised, but i didn't mind, because he wakes up early and he was tired and he didn't know i was coming anyway. i get a big kick out of my brother and his wife, so i had a real fun time in chicago. one highlight was going to a donut shop on the south side called dat donut. you'd like it, it's bulletproof. going to a bulls game was the other highlight. the bulls were the team when sports were almost everything to me as a kid.  i didn't like the bulls then, but to see the united center floor, to see the championship banners hanging from the rafters, to hear the same intro music they used during their championship seasons, and to share it with my brother was something special. the bulls played the clippers, which means we saw blake griffin play, and he didn't disappoint. the kid's an animal, a beast, and a monster. and a monstar. anyone who follows the nba knows that, but really, he is exciting to watch if you care at all about basketball.  he dropped 47 points the other day and only missed 5 of the 24 shots he took, and i look forward to talking about him with a stranger from los angeles on my next flight.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"hard to be humble when you stuntin' on a jumbotron"

this next post is about lebron james...

i wanted that to sound like when you're at a rock concert and the singer says something like, "this next song is about carpooling to work in order to protect the environment," or something like that and you're not sure what song it's going to be, because none of their songs sound like they're about that, but then they start playing the intro to one of their top three hits, which isn't about carpooling to protect the environment. the crowd starts making noise, because they like the song and you're thinking to yourself, "these guys know how to play music
and they're funny," because that's not what the song's about, but then you remember some of the lyrics and they're pretty vague and general and open to interpretation and could really be attached to a lot of different issues if you wanted to, and you think, "maybe this is about carpooling to work in order to protect the environment."

while typing that i was reminded of the two boyz II men concerts i've had the pleasure of attending. the first time was the fulfillment of an unrealized childhood dream and the second was more of a victory lap. i bring up these experiences because they do a lot of storytelling before their songs and let you know exactly what they're going to be about. i think that's why i'm so fond of 90s r&b in general. r&b lyrics are the antithesis of the general and vague lyrics of some rock songs, like the one explained above: straightfoward and without ambiguity. mostly about love or the loss of love. the descriptiveness of that love and love loss is the only thing that really changes from song to song.

(if you don't like professional basketball you probably won't care to read this)

this isn't a top three hit, but it is about my good friend, lebron james. he was kind enough to provide me some upper bowl seats for the heat-jazz game the other night. despite being the friends that we are, i had never seen lebron james play basketball in person. it was a good game and the heat ran away with it at the end. to be honest, i was as excited to see lebron throw his powder into the air as i was to watch the game. there's something so arrogant about it, but i kind of got chills watching the powder go into the air and hearing the boos. i'm surprised opponents haven't thrown powder into the air to mock lebron. it's interesting that they just let him come into their house and do what he wants. it would be funny if the player mocking lebron threw powder in the air at the start of the game and every time they checked into the game, as well as after each timeout. i would laugh.

the heat are starting to play really well. what's kind of funny about the whole thing is that the heat seemed to really come together during the hyped up cleveland game. i think lebron was wondering about his new team, the south beach heat, at the beginning of the season and missing his old team where he was everything and all of his teammates knew their spots on the court, and everyone in cleveland, as well as so many other people, really loved him. then he went back to cleveland and remembered why he left. the cleveland cavaliers just aren't good at basketball right now.
a team unfit for a king, if you will (i wonder how many stories used the title, "unfit for a king," or something like that after lebron left?).

lebron's absence has shown how bad the cavs really were/are and how much he did for their team. i watched a lot of their games the past few seasons and to watch them this season was sad. the only guy i'd want on my team from their roster is jj hickson. he goes for a dunk every time he shoots the ball and he seems to try on every play. i'm not sure if that's true, but his eyes are always wide open and he's always heavily breathing so it looks like he's trying every play. the rest of the cavs team without lebron? i just don't know. it's my opinion that anderson varejao's just become a big guy with bad hair, antawn jamison has found comfort in the familiarity of being on another losing team, and the rest of the team used to stand around the perimeter waiting for an open three, but that's not happening anymore. i think i mostly feel bad for cleveland's commentators. their voices used to be on youtube clips of lebron, and there used to be exciting plays to get loud about, but i'm guessing that's a rare occasion these days.

who was affected the most by lebron's decision? mo williams. it really turned his world upside down. he was very open about considering retirement after lebron left. he looks like he's tried to distance himself from lebron and the recent past by removing the headband, but they still have similar shaped tattoos on their arms. not saying who copied who on that one, but the whole thing's curious. during the heat game i think mo tried to put a tough guy look on his face, but it came across as pouty. i kind of wanted lebron to say something about it during the post-game press conference. finish his last answer and then say, "...oh, and mo? stop pouting." but he didn't.

(i'm currently listening to the led zeppelin song, "that's the way," and the first line is: "i don't know how i'm gonna tell you, i can't play with you no more..." a humorous coincidence, because lebron didn't know how to tell his old team either, so he ended up telling them on national television.)

i feel like we need stuff like that from lebron, though. i really like watching him play, but his interviews are rarely, if ever, controversial. when he retweeted all the hate tweets he'd received from internet thugs at the beginning of the season i thought the heat were going to completely embrace the bad boy image, but you can't be the bad guy when all you really want is to be loved. if he really just wants to be loved i think he picked the wrong place to play. also, during the cleveland game, those fans were really loud. they really showed up. lebron won't admit it, but i feel like there was a moment during the third quarter when the fans kind of got to him. he played it cool the whole game and went off for 24 points in the third quarter, but there was a time near the end of the third where one of his teammates was shooting free throws, maybe bosh, and the crowd restarted the chant, "akron hates you!" and lebron stood at half court and bobbed his head up and down with the chant, but he wasn't smiling. now, i don't think he started to believe that akron, ohio, (his hometown) really hates him, but the fact that he acknowledged the crowd surprised me.

but yeah, i saw lebron james throw powder into the air the other night.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Between you and me, I think that may be one of the things that will help with the collaboration, because there are things Eric thinks I'm moving too quickly on, and there are things I think he's dragging out. When it gets to the editor they can arbitrate."

-Robert Asprin (American science fiction
 and fantasy author)

Slow down, Bob Asprin.  It's not a race. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"When the movie was done, Number Five was crated up. Eric took him over to Germany; displayed him over there because Germans really liked this movie. It was very popular with them."
-John Badham

Johnny Five, the biggest mistake was crating you up.

Germany, we had fun, didn't we?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Here's something I like to call "Quotes About Eric."

This is where I post quotes from famous people about another Eric, but that I wish had been said about me.

John Badham is the director of "Short Circuit," "Saturday Night Fever," "WarGames," and "Bird on a Wire." I assume he's referring to a robot suit used in the making of "Short Circuit 2," which he did not direct.

"I also know that in the second movie, the sequel, Eric made some huge advances with the robot suit. That just made it even better. You put the suit on and moved your arms then the robot's arms would move in sync with yours."

-John Badham

As if "Short Circuit" could've been any better.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"and i think it's gonna be a long, long time..."

the other weekend, uncle brad was listening to his radio while sitting in his rocking chair.  the song was "rocket man" by elton john.  the scene is called "rocking man." art is all around us.

i watched at least 70 birds fly south the other evening in groups as small as two and as large as 20. and i said quietly to myself, "man, look at all those birds," and i did. i looked at all those birds.

this past weekend i was mowing the lawn and i ran over part of an overgrown flower bush. one of the flowers stayed on top of the lawn mower for the rest of the time. it was the most poetic lawn mowing experience of my life.

i've decided to scratch everything from my resume and just write, "i'm tall." it's the best thing i've got going for me. i mostly just want to go in for an interview and have them look up, shake my hand and say, "whoa, you weren't lying," and half laugh while they're saying so. but for some reason i feel like 76 inches will never be enough. the interviewer will ask, "what are some of your skills." i'll lift my arms and stretch them as far as they can go and say, "i've got long arms that stretch far," and then put my arms back down. the interviewer, confused, will ask, "is this some kind of a joke?" stretching my arms out again, i will say, "you tell me."

i probably wouldn't get that job, but at least the interviewer would have a story to tell, and everyone wants one of those. just a "you won't believe what happened..." kind of story that ends up being completely believable. we just like to challenge each other's belief.
"you're never going to believe who i saw today." 
"try me. i think you'll be surprised."

my story today would be about the guy in business casual who looked at me and said, "hey, i saw that you called."  confused, i said, "no, i didn't.  you must have mistaken me..." and then he cut me off with "yeah, that would be great.  just forward those numbers to me..." while looking at me like i was crazy.  i then saw a bluetooth phone in his right ear.  a bit embarrassed i looked at his hands that held no phone and walked on. man, i wish i had a bluetooth. to be able to talk on the phone and clap my hands while walking with ease would be nice.

i'll be honest, that didn't really happen, but something like it has before. the truth is i did see a man in business casual outside his office with a bluetooth in his ear as i was stopped in my car at an intersection. i watched as he leaned against a wobbly railing, which put him in a visible panic. since i couldn't hear him, i can only imagine how his voice changed as he lost his balance. the noises people make when they fall, or think they're going to fall, are good. the uncontrollable scream, yell, or swear. but when it happens mid-conversation, the change in the voice is perfect.

with all that said, "willy wonka & the chocolate factory" was on tv the other day and i watched part of the end.  the movie's got a very saturday-afternoon-i-don't-really-know-how-my-day-got-to-this-point-i-had-planned-to-do-so-much-more feel to it.  i used to be creeped out by gene wilder (willy wonka). i think it stemmed from my brother telling me as a young boy that gene wilder was hiding in my closet. just kidding, just kidding, just kidding. it was something about the way he delivered his lines and some of his facial expressions. he's all right with me now, though. they still could've found a better charlie.  there are a lot of good lines/scenes in the movie, but don't take my word for it...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

99 friends.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

"there's three types of people in the world: those who don't know what happened, those who wonder what happened...

...and people like us from the streets that MAKE things happen!"

when i go to the library with the purpose of checking out books, i read the first pages to see if i want to give it a go. the defeat felt after borrowing a few books and returning a couple unread three weeks later takes a bit of a toll on me. there's always the option of renewing them, but that's just an extension on an already unmet deadline. i'm not the fastest reader. the way a simple sentence is written can cause my mind to wander, so i'm constantly having to re-read. with that said, a stack of five books at the checkout represents wishful thinking. on the way home, as that same stack of books moves around on the passenger seat, it's saying to me, "c'mon, eric, smaller bites, buddy. you can't chew all that," but i remain hopeful that one of the books has lots of dialogue and the end of each chapter has only 3-4 lines on the page.

i took a seat in what looked like a soft, cushy chair and opened a book (the chair was neither that soft nor that cushy, but squeaked and stuck to the skin). as i finished page two, i was interrupted by an audible conversation directly behind me, which i have a terrible time ignoring. a conversation in a quiet area where there are no other sounds to blend with. the two didn't speak like traditional friends, but spoke like they knew each other. everything they said was to the point - nothing more or less. the way they spoke hinted at experience with anime, equal experience with fantasy literature dealing with dragons, and at the drop of a hat, the readiness to convince you how advanced medieval society really was. i don't know how to properly explain it, but there's a definite tone that lets me know when i'm dealing with this type of person.

i found out they had just met when one of them asked the other what school they attend. if they went to the same, she was going to recommend checking the school's library for the book the other was looking for. they don't attend the same school, and no there was no "thank you" for the useless tip. after hearing this, i wondered if their high schools were rivals. it wouldn't have mattered. they didn't seem like the type to pay any mind to stuff like that.

"have you read this series?" asked one of them.
"yes, i've read them all, but it's been such a long time. i'm thinking about revisiting them," answered the other arrogantly with a slight snicker, which is kind of how she was saying everything. i don't think she meant anything by it.

i turned around to take a look at them. unbeknownst to me, i was seated in the graphic novel section. the wall was lined with series after series of graphic novels illustrated with anime-style art. everything made sense again and i thought about how the graphic novel section is probably the only place in the library where verbal conversation can go from 0 to 60 in such a short time. usually there's a bit of rust in the voice after being quiet while walking around the library, but not with these folks. the passion they have for the graphic novel makes it impossible to keep quiet, which gives instant strength to their voices. it's somewhat of a polarizing genre. you either really love and know about it, or you just don't and don't. anybody can love a good film adaptation of a graphic novel, but to be in it all the way, i mean really live and breathe that stuff, is a whole different story.

i checked out the book and walked out of the library happy. i'm not sure i even wanted the book, but their conversation made me forget i was even debating it. i think i was happy because of all the different people this world has. all the different niches and different kinds of cool. then i was kind of sad, because i will never be able to connect or fully participate with a lot of them, because there's just not enough time to give all the graphic novels the attention they deserve.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

i got two words for you

Sometimes taking pictures of yourself is fun. Sometimes having other people take them for you is more fun. I wanted to get a really cool picture in Trafalgar Square and so I asked this kid to take a picture for me. I saw a small WWF insignia on the front of his shirt so I gave him one of these:

Then when he walked away, on the back of his shirt I saw this:

I realized my error.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


hey, everybody. i know that world cup 2010 has been over and done with for almost a month now, but i just wanted to say that i enjoyed watching the games. much like the '94 cup, i was familiar with enough of the players to care a bit. i also enjoyed the slow-motion replay utilized by abc, which they also used during the 2008 nba finals. i liked them so much, i had to share some of the fun from world cup 2010's final game over here. am i the biggest soccer fan in the world? no, but the above photo says otherwise.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"ain't no surprise in the club to see sly, stallone. miami, my second home."

it's been over a week since lebron made his big decision, announcing that he will be playing for the miami heat. there was report after report full of speculation leading up to the decision and an equal amount of backlash the following morning. playing a major role in the decision making process, i will now give you parts of the full story.

most of you probably know that i'm good friends with lebron. i'm a few days older than him, so he often comes to me for advice. his recent decision to join our friends, dwyane wade and chris bosh, came as no surprise to me since i had been his number one advisor throughout. the most comical part about the whole thing is lebron originally thought "heat" was a nickname for the phoenix suns. he thought that dwyane wade was actually leandro barbosa, and that chris bosh was actually channing frye. i didn't realize this until a text conversation i had with him four hours prior to his one-hour special on espn:


ERC: ah man, can't wait to celebrate with the 2011 champs!


ERC: man, that's funny. it will be good to have dwight howard protecting the rim as well :) (i had to start putting smileys at the end of texts, because lebron has a terrible time detecting sarcasm in its unspoken form. this actually got us into trouble a few days ago when i texted him "you should hold an hour long special on espn where you announce where you'll be playing next year." he responded with, "THAT'D BE TIGHT!!! WHERE SHOULD IT BE AND WHO SHOULD INTERVIEW ME?" i quickly responded with "a city with so much money and jim gray," (i thought this would let him know i was joking).

'Bron: whoa, erc, i don't think heat have enough dollars to sign dwight. that was random.
(the lack of caps lock was cause for concern and i knew he wasn't joking about playing with steve nash at this point).

ERC: yeah, they don't. i don't know what i was thinking. you think the heat have enough money to sign both steve nash and jrich? they're going to have to play for very little money.

'Bron: what? they're locked in for at least next season

ERC: yeah, with the suns.

'Bron: i know, why you playin, erc?

ERC: wait, you know the suns and heat are different teams, right?

'Bron: WAIT WHAT?! :/

ERC: oh no, you look confused! you thought heat was just a nickname for the suns, huh? because the sun gives off heat?

'Bron: :(

when i realized that his first choice was the phoenix suns i was saddened, because to get nash a ring would have been a good thing. lebron's confusion also explains why he wasn't smiling much when he announced that he'd be heading to south beach to play with the miami heat.

after the show, lebron asked me if i could shoot cleveland cavs owner, dan gilbert, a text seeing if he watched and knew he was leaving. here's how that went:

ERC: hey, dan. i don't know if you know already, but lebron's going to be signing with the heat.

(for whatever reason, dan gilbert uses the webdings font when texting. the decoded message is, "WHAT? WHY IS HE SIGNING WITH PHOENIX?!")

ERC: you heard about lebron's confusion earlier?

ª•º– ªº• ºª•˚¬…∆åß∂Ϫ•¶ºª§¶•∞§§¶∞¢™∞¶§£ª™•¶¢§ª•¶§£™¢ª•¶§£™¢ª¶ª§

ERC: take it easy, man. the answer to that last question is yes. he has a better chance winning anywhere outside of cleveland. but he's not even going to phoenix; he's going to the MIAMI heat.


ERC: sorry for delayed responses, but it takes a minute to read messages written in webdings. i don't think it's a good idea to burn his house down or joke about it. maybe you could just write a letter to cleveland in the heat of the moment when you're not thinking straight. (i should have included a smiley at the end of this one).

(10 minutes later)


and that's how the cookie crumbled.

and now, the tricky part: getting me signed by miami. lebron was able to set up a meeting with miami heat president, 
pat riley, right when we got to miami last thursday night. i'll be honest, i was intimidated by the man. the intimidation was based on appearance alone, but the guy's talk's as slick as his hair and he had me sold within the first 3 minutes of our conversation. it went something like this: "now, a lot of people aren't liking what we've done here. we have become the villains, but that's okay. we are the villains that will win at least 3 championships in the next five years, and do so with the most exciting brand of basketball ever. the only thing that could ruin this is if bosh decides to wear his hair like a woman again," said pat riley.

"haha," i laughed.

"now, what about you? in 20 words or less, why do you want to be part of the miami heat organization?"

without any hesitation, i spoke from the heart: "rony seikalybimbo coles, 2-time slam dunk champion, harold 'baby jordan' miner, alec kesslersherman douglas, glen rice's flat top."

pat riley nodded in approval after every word. in response pat said, "the people of miami are more proud of those two slam dunk competition trophies than winning the 2006 nba championship.  i like you, kid.  here's what i'm going to do: i'm going to give you a $30 stipend every game for food and travel and i will allow you to sit on the bench, but there's one condition."

"what's that?"

"i want you to start slicking that hair back, son."

i immediately pulled out a comb, poured a glass of water over my head, and began to slick my hair back. pat laughed and said, "one day you're going to be sitting in my seat."

"and you, mine."

"haha," laughed pat riley.

and that was that. he sweetened the deal by letting me know that the $30 would not be taxed. great to be onboard, but this obviously won't be enough money for housing. to remedy this i will have my own seven-part reality series on "animal planet" called, "bienvenido a miami." we were able to swing this by purchasing two pet parakeets. throughout the series i will visit the homes of james, wade, and bosh to decide who i want to bunk with. episodes will include cameos from the nba's favorite knuckleheads, lamar odom and ron artest. the three of us will have a book club as well as play multiple games of "sorry" with a running tally of how many we've each won. first one to 11 wins gets to keep the parakeets.

concerning lebron's decision, it's amazing how fast it all changed. for every 20 stories about how he gave up on cleveland, those same writers were ready to write 20 puff pieces praising lebron's loyalty if he was staying in cleveland. every jordan comparison will be dropped and that's fine, because lebron never wanted to be compared to anyone, he wants everyone to be compared to him.

to mo williams and the rest of lebron's former teammates, i'm sorry. that has to hurt your feel-goods to have every sportswriter say time and time again that lebron had one of the worst supporting casts.

the real question that pops out from this nba off-season is who signed the better three, miami (lebron james, dwyane wade, chris bosh) or phoenix (hedo turkoglu, josh childress, hakim warrick)? tough one. i guess we'll find out in the 2011 nba finals.

if the miami heat have truly become the villains of the nba, i just hope in two or three seasons kevin durant becomes the hero.  those could be some exciting championship battles.

these are pictures:

lebron talking to jim gray.  me watching.

lebron letting miami know the wolfpac is most definitely in the house, and me approving of the night's event and the energy of the crowd.

the gang being interviewed by espn.  the video is paused after chris bosh was asked why he and lebron were wearing the same jacket. there was a short silence, and you can see me beginning to answer for him.

"Don't get me wrong, Chi-town got it goin' on
An New York is the city that we know don't sleep
An we all know that L.A. and Philly stay jiggy
But on the sneak, Miami bringin' heat for real."