Tag Archives: mil gracias

Oh, hi there.

That’s not strictly true, but for the past two and a half weeks or so, it might as well have been.  Heavy deadlines at work spirited me away from everyone’s favorite municipality for a bit. Then, after having been gone, having immersed myself in Y: The Last Man (which is effing amazing) and having felt somewhat separated from what was going on in sports, I had a minor crisis-of-interest — do I really love this stuff enough to write with the kind of passion that could lead to jokes that people might enjoy? (Assuming, of course, that I was doing that to begin with.)

Thanks to a great day of Twitter conversations with (somewhat) like-minded individuals during the Sunday slate of playoff hoops — which you could have followed by checking out my Twitter feed here — I feel pretty confident that the answer’s yes.  You people are just too much fun; with what other group of absurd sporting life-lovers could #JVGisHipHop have happened?

I’m still not 100 percent sure what I want this place to be, but I know I want it to be something. So let’s make like Lowe’s and try to build something together, with jokes as our 2x4s, Hacksaw Jim Duggan as our foreman and Mark Eaton soliloquies as our grout. And you can never have too much grout.  Thanks, as always, for visiting my little collection of ephemera.

Looking back on the week that was, all whilst feeling like lukewarm crud

It’s been a fun week here at this is the city line., though it’s been a long one at the Clark Kent job — the first three days were brutal, which led to me entering the office yesterday unable to think of anything but “F*** my life,” “I’d rather be anywhere than here” and “I gotta get outta this place.” So I did, shuffled off to a bar, watched my alma mater predictably fall well short of defeating Louisville, bought my bride-to-be lunch and a number of cocktails, then got drunk and fell asleep before 30 Rock started. All told, that makes Thursday a win, but it also made for a sneaky hangover this morning, so I’m just sort of trying to rumble through the midrange darkness and get out of here today with a respectable loss.

We started the week off by remembering Biggie and calling podcasts, then received some more great advice from our smartest, tallest friend, and gazed into the eyes of a wistful Buffalonian for whom present potential recalls only past passions. And then there was THING FIGHT, which I hope you enjoyed as much as I did (though I’m quite certain you didn’t). I leave the door open to the possibility that more nonsense is coming this afternoon, but it is unlikely. I am trying just to get my e-mail count down to zero; that will be a victory today.

As always, thank you for reading and giving me a place to go with the weird buzzing in my head. Be safe this weekend, and we’ll see you Monday. And now, because why not, here’s the first link that comes up in a YouTube search for “rock hard abs.” Enjoy!

I mean … she should have put out by now, right?

12:28 PM: EDITOR’S NOTE: After a few hours of thinking about it, I decided to tone down the header of this post. My apologies if its previous iteration offended anybody.
citylinesadbj

“Listen, I’m not trying to pressure her, all right?  It’s just that, after two months, y’know, I figured this is the city line. would having a little bit more fun than she does.”

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, Buster Brown. This site isn’t that kind of girl.

Yet.

And now, without further ado, as we do at the start of each new chapter in this blog’s life: Please rise for your municipal anthem.

Again and as always, thanks for taking the time to stop by.  By all means, feel free to stick around a while and do as the natives do.  Talk yourself out of draft picks.  Read 1,500 words kinda/sorta about how Larry Hughes can force you to define your fandom.  Sign our “Gastebüch” and marvel at our listings of BASKETBALL LEGENDEN.

Crank up the “Bonnie & Shyne,” allowing the soothing tones of Barrington Levy to bring back memories of the time when you thought you could totally dance to reggae-esque songs because all they really required you to do was get as close as you could to a girl (without sweating all over her, Angus), interlocking legs and moving side to side.  Pin thumbtacks of where you’ve traveled in the world on the Map According to Devine.

Get your face annihilated.  Let Big Baby run the show.  For God’s sake, stop biting off Wilt.  Or not.  Whatever you do, enjoy your stay, and let me know if you need some fresh towels.

The neoprene sleeves on Nate Robinson’s arms and legs significantly limit his wind resistance

Because I promised the Dawg yesterday, KryptoNate goes up top and deposits a sick feed from Chris Duhon in the Knicks’ ultimately disappointing  111-100 loss to the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre yesterday:

Other points on this game, which I had the pleasure of watching with my brothers the day after my nephew’s week-late family birthday party:

  • There were some downright abysmal offensive sets, ameliorated only slightly by significantly worse defensive play. There were probably a half-dozen instances of forward/guard inverts that led to Chris Bosh posting up Larry Hughes, Shawn Marion on Chris Duhon or some such other big-small mismatch. If Bosh was on (just 11 points on 5-14 from the floor, though he did add 12 boards), the Knicks would have gotten run off the court, due in part to …
  • Andrea Bargnani. “Il Mago” tore Dominant Team Pringles apart, which is kind of insane, and on several occasions did so off the dribble, which is CERTIFIABLY insane.  Also, I kind of expected Clyde to mangle the Italian’s really-not-all-that-difficult-to-pronounce name, but to hear Gus Johnson chip in and call him “Barn-yarn-ee” all game was somewhat surprising.  And about Gus …
  • He shortened the “My name is Al Harrington and I get buckets” call after one Baby Al score to a creepy laugh followed by the single word “buckets.”  Like, “Ah ha ha ha HA, buckets.”  We rewound and watched it a few times.  Haven’t found the video yet, but it was legitimately disconcerting.
  • I initially thought Ball Don’t Lie scribe Kelly Dwyer was a little too kind to the Knicks in this morning’s Behind the Box Score, but then I remembered that they’re really not good enough that they should be expected to handle a team like the Raptors on the road. And this point is spot-on:

If the team is going to take that next, unexpected step, it has to start playing perfect games. Or, at least, come a little closer to perfection that what we saw in Toronto on Sunday. There are reasons the Knicks didn’t beat the Raptors, nothing to kill the team over, but it’ll be enough to keep the Knicks out of the postseason if they persist.

Still, though, isn’t it nuts that we’re even discussing things that might “be enough to keep the Knicks out of the postseason if they persist,” and not “the senses-shattering string of miracles that have to take place in an utterly improbable sequence that the Knicks, in defiance of all that is rational and pure, might make the postseason”? That’s kind of nice.

  • Wherefore art thou, Danilo? I think we all expected that importing Chris Wilcox and Larry Hughes would necessitate some changes in the rotation, but I was pretty surprised that Gallinari didn’t see the court at all.  Seth at Posting and Toasting made a nice point: “[I]f there’s anybody whose minutes should be sacrificed, it’s Jared Jeffries.”  I’d take it a step further: Jared Jeffries should be sacrificed.  Like, in a ritual, possibly presided over by a New Orleans-based Haitian Voudou priestess.
  • Speaking of Larry: Off to a great start, champ.

off-to-a-great-start

Mil gracias para el vídeo, Alto Baloncesto.

Putting a bow on a semi-busy, hoops-filled week by revisiting Hogan v. Andre

put-a-bow-on-it

Lotta basketball talk this week, which I suppose was to be expected.  Football’s over, I haven’t really cared about hockey since before the end of the Clinton administration, March Madness isn’t here yet, spring training has only just begun … there really weren’t a whole lot of things more interesting to me than basketball this week.  (Except, of course, F My Life.  Seriously, if you haven’t subscribed to that site’s RSS feed or bookmarked it, you’re blowing it.  It’s a schadenfreude lover’s best friend.)

We kicked the week off with my incredibly optimistic take on Dominant Team Pringles’ prospects for the remainder of 2K9 and the forthcoming NBA Draft.  Of course, they ruined my Devinastradamus prediction of a winless February by besting a Manu-less Spurs squadron, but I think there’s just enough futility in the tank to disappoint us all come playoff time.  In a Tuesday “true or false” question, we used the first poll in this is the city line. history (boundaries breaking, new worlds exploding into view) to ask whether or not Hornets forward David West looks like the guy who played Gunn on Angel. (It was your position that he does.)

We also took a look at the inevitable fail that will be America’s Top Baller, went a long way to make a super-dated Freaks and Geeks reference vis-a-vis the Oklahoma City Thunder’s new mascot, and got way, way, way, way too into the Knicks’ (ultimately not-so-meaningful) trade deadline deals.  And to top things off, a salute to José Guillen for doing something I would never, ever, ever do.  Plus, hit the simple goal of a post a day, and got the fine people at BallHype to add my humble endeavor to their rolls, which is great.  (Can’t wait to see how far down the rankings I am and get a better sense of just how many of you people there are out there.)  All in all, I award this week a +0.5.

What might push things to a full +1.0?  Glad you asked, friend.  Howzabout some Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant videos?

Mil gracias to brother Big Dawg for reminding me earlier this week how important this was to me in 1987 (and 1997, though less so in 2007).  It was neon-highlighter headline news for a husky young Devo, every step of the way.  From the contract signing:

To the epic Wrestlemania III contest:

To the classic Survivor Series ’87 “Team Hogan vs. Team Andre” match, featuring a young, spry Bam Bam Bigelow (rest in peace, sir):

It was all epic, all gargantuan, all the time.  I think I can honestly trace the evolution of my perception of the good/bad ethical spectrum (swear to God, almost wrote “ethnical” — hard-boiled racist Freudian slip much?) from the simple Hogan-face/Andre-heel battle of 1987 (Devine: age 4-5) to the Hogan-face/Warrior-face/what-the-fuck-is-a-young-man-to-do conundrum of 1990 (Devine: age 7-8).  It was flat-out mean of Vince McMahon to make such a fresh-faced, innocent young lad make that decision, but ultimately, he was doing what needed to be done: Weaning me off the notion that decisions about who you back and where you cast your lots in life are going to be easy.

“Sometimes shit’s hard,” Vince said.  “Fucking deal with it, Devine.”

OK, I replied with a sigh, my ample child bosom heaving ‘neath the strain of the decision I faced.

I backed Hogan, who, as we all know, lost.  That sucked, and I’m pretty sure I was super upset.  But I learned something by taking that L: There’s strength to be found in making the choice.

As I revisited a similar dilemma between childlike fandom and cold adult math spurred by the shapeshifting demon Larry Hughes yesterday, I came to a similar decision: I actually came to prefer the notion of the Knicks dealing Robinson and/or Lee if it provided the opportunity to shed the contracts of Curry and/or Jeffries.  Now, neither came to pass, both players stayed, Nate dunked over Biff and Knicks fans breathed a sigh of relief, so it wound up not mattering … except that to me, in some small weird way, it did.  For whatever that’s worth.

Shutting down the office, heading home to shut down my head, heading south for a family party tomorrow. Enjoy your weekends, friends, and as always, thanks for reading.  Be safe out there.

This site is now learning to turn its head to preferred positions when lying on its stomach or back

At least, that’s what Mama’s Health tells me it should be doing today.

one-month-crop

Of course, there’s only one REAL answer here: A healthy dollop of the hottest possible liniment applied directly to your special guy’s testicles.

Yep, today marks one month since I started this little shitshow.  Interestingly enough to no one but me, it also marks one year since I had my last cigarette, a decision I’m supposed to be proud of, but that actually infuriates me every day.  (I know I could have packed in another year or two of smoking enjoyment before anything real bad happened to my innards.)  So, hooray.  I am doubly following through on things.

If you’ll indulge me for a moment (and I’m assuming you will, considering you’re here), I just wanted to briefly thank everyone who told me I should try this and everyone who’s taken a second to read my inane ramblings (not to be confused with the fine site Inane Musings).  We’ve just passed the 4,000 visits mark, which is about 3,975 more than I anticipated receiving when I signed up for a WordPress account.

I especially want to thank those of you who’ve commented on posts, sent e-mails, gotten at me on Twitter, hyped my stuff on BallHype, or linked me in your blogrolls … remarkable enough as it is to have people read this stuff, it’s exponentially more so that someone would want to join in my conversation and suggest that others do the same.

I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten plugs and/or support from some pretty great people in this community, and I am very, very grateful for that.  I hope to validate their votes of confidence, and maybe even earn a few more while I’m at it.  And of course, if you’ve got any ideas for how I can improve the look/feel/content/smell/immune system of this is the city line., please feel free to throw some ideas in the comments or shoot me an e-mail — like most one-month-olds, this place is going to need some guidance (not to mention breast milk) before it can grow into an awkward, parent-resenting adolescent.

And now, without further ado, please stand for your municipal anthem.

Thanks for coming, and feel free to stick around a while — we’re just getting warmed up.

OFF-TOPIC: Righting a wrong; Mahalo, baller

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post will have nothing to do with sports.  If you don’t want to read something that’s got nothing to do with sports, no hard feelings — I’ll see you Monday.

EDITOR’S NOTE, part deux: I owe a hat-tip to KSK for the headline … I hope I’m not misappropriating it too terribly for your tastes.

It wouldn’t be accurate to say I grew up with the comedy of Bill Hicks, but it wouldn’t be totally inaccurate either.  See, the first comedy album I fell in love with was Denis Leary’s No Cure for Cancer.

I wore that sucker out, man.  I listened to it pretty much every day in eighth grade, even cleaning up Leary’s NyQuil bit and performing it for a school-wide public speaking contest.  (I won my class competition, but lost in the eighth-grade finals to some chick reciting “Tikki Tikki Tembo” or something … fucking bullshit, dude.)

It wasn’t until far later that a college friend introduced me to Hicks’ stand-up, beginning a career of admiration that at times borders on proselytizing when I find out that likeminded individuals have never listened to him, and even led to an image of the man being included in a hastily assembled and poorly constructed photo illustration that serves as this site’s unique banner.  (I’m sure he’d be thrilled to share studio space with the Shoryuken.)

Of course, part of being introduced to Hicks is learning of the popular comedy argument that Leary was a thief, a journeyman Boston hack that had appropriated Hicks’ persona and stole chunks of his act, then used it to successfully market himself as the kind of buzz comic that can be sold to overweight suburban 13-year-olds as “edgy.”  The debate between the two comedians’ supporters is lengthy and jam-packed with vitriol … check out some side-by-sides of the material in question if you’d like to judge for yourself.

I wound up falling on the pro-Hicks side; the tonal and material similarities were too much for me to ignore.  (Hicks’ alleged response to an interviewer’s question about Leary’s supposed theft: “I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.”)

But it was more than that … the more I listened to Hicks (another friend was kind enough to dub me a copy of Philosophy, which I still listen to every few weeks), the more I read by and about him (Love All the People remains one of my favorite books) and certainly the more I watched him (Bill Hicks Live: Satirist, Social Criticm Stand-Up Comedian ought to be required viewing), the harder it became to enjoy Leary’s stand-up.  It felt like I had spent years happily enjoying Steak-umms, then got treated to a juicy Porterhouse.  I mean, the thing I used to like was still OK, I guess … but man, how fucking good was this new thing?

One of the more controversial elements of Hicks’ career was the censorship of his Oct. 1, 1993, appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”  The in-depth details of the affair, recounted late in Love All the People, are sadly not available in the Google Books version, but the rundown in the foreword is (pgs. vii through xi), and it sets things up pretty well.

Here’s the gist: Hicks did some material making fun of the pro-life movement and the Christian celebration of Easter, someone got scared, and producer Robert Morton called Hicks to tell him the set had been cut.  Hicks pressed for an explanation and/or a tape copy of the set, which led to a game of hot potato between the “Late Show” producers and CBS’ standards-and-practices department, neither one of which would take responsibility for the decision or give Hicks what he wanted.  It was one of the last major career events in Hicks’ life — he died less than five six months later (EDITOR’S NOTE: Nice counting, dick), on Feb. 26, 1994, after a bout with pancreatic cancer.

Last night, nearly 16 years after inexplicably chopping her son’s set, Letterman brought Mary Hicks, Bill’s mother, on the show to apologize for the “heartache and sadness [his] decision caused [her] family.”  He also, at long last, played the set.  And of course, because the Internet is awesome, the whole deal is now available on YouTube.  So without further ado:

Here’s part 1, in which Letterman discusses the circumstances surrounding the bit being cut:

Part 2, in which Mary Hicks proudly talks about her son, letting through just a glimmer of the hurt that Letterman’s censorship caused her son and comporting herself quite well (even showcasing a bit of natural timing):

And finally, what we’ve all been waiting for: Part 3, Hicks’ censored “Late Show” performance:

Since last night, I’ve been fixated on Letterman’s reaction after the clip ends … the quick head-shake, the immediacy with which he claims the situation says more about him than it does about Hicks, the disappointment, maybe even disgust, that he allowed this thing to take on such a life of its own.  Welcome contrition.

More than anything, though, last night’s events gave me the image of Bill Hicks that I think I want to remember — looking happy, doing smart, biting material that’s still resonant after more than 15 years, and flat-out killing.  A star shining brightest just before it flames out.  It’s a beautiful sight.

44

It was Henry Aaron’s number.  Now, it’s Barack Obama’s.  Sometimes history has a funny way of working out, huh?

With apologies to Skeets: Embrace a new day, people.

Photo courtesy of RosterBoard’s flickr stream.

Many thanks, and a trial separation

It’s been a good introductory week — we’ve seen “Biscuits,” background and backstory, Big Baby at the 1, biting (which is really a no-no), a baffling broad and a lamentation on the bastardizing (already in progress) of one of the most singular athletic entities of my lifetime.  (Couldn’t keep the alliteration going forever, try as I might.)

Thanks in large part to a pair of monster assists from Toronto’s most Schweppervescent open-run point guard J.E. Skeets, more than 900 people have checked this site out since its launch.  What I don’t know about site visits/page views/unique users/etc. could fill six warehouses, but the idea that ANYONE would take a few moments to read the nonsense that rattles around inside my head is phenomenally humbling.  (ED. NOTE: As proof of how little I know, that was 900+ PAGE VIEWS, not necessarily 900+ people.  Baby steps toward learning.  The “phenomenally humbling” part still holds true.) So to those who have been kind enough to click here, I thank you.  I hope I’ve wasted your time in exactly the way you’d hoped I would.  (And, hey, if you like what you’ve seen, there’s more coming, so please consider subscribing.)

All that said, it’s probably going to be a slow day here at this is the city line.  In the interest of not totally sacrificing my full-time job as I scratch the surface of what this site can be (and explore the pure exhilaration of the conceiving/composing/breathlessly-wondering-if-anyone-will-read process), I’m forcing myself to unplug for the remainder of today.  There’ll be one in-the-can post up later on — I can feel your steaming hot anticipation through my monitor’s face – and that’s probably going to be it until Monday.

But don’t fret, friends: I’m not leaving you empty-handed.  Boston-area radio listeners might already be familiar with Khabarta from his appearances on WBCN’s fine Toucher and Rich program; those of you who enjoy unbridled excellence may know him through other avenues.  This is him:

If you have not yet been so blessed, allow me to introduce you to arguably the greatest musical genius of our generation, with the possible exception of Clay Bennett (4:48 mark for the ill realness; gracias, Goat Deini).  Listen to samples of his music; check out his YouTube channel; dust off your 2K6 social networking jones and hit his MySpace page for more music and fantastic photos.  Feel free to thank me in the comments for the mind-assaulting tunes/videos.

Enjoy what I hope is a lazy, sales-meeting-devoid, smooth-sailing-’til-happy-hour Friday, and have a great weekend.