Tag Archives: week in review

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!

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.

Taking stock of a herky-jerky, in-between-hop kind of week

It’s been a weird week here at the friendly confines of this is the city line., and I’m honestly not real sure what it all means.

I started out by trying to shake off illness with drugs and Welsh rock music, then got the surprise blessing of basketblog raconteur Tom Ziller selecting my dumb variant on a pretty common joke for inclusion in Monday’s NBA Essentials link roundup over at FanHouse.  Then the worksplosion started, which sidetracked me pretty significantly, pushing me into throwing up a placeholder post that actually generated a little bit of interest (at least among my friends).

Once safely past Tuesday, I learned that Dominant Team Pringles sucked it up against the Warriors, a team they’re theoretically better than (by the way, my Doomsday prediction of a winless February — click STOP after the link opens to read mine prophecy — remains intact), got sick wistful on the Eddy Curry tip and came late to the Deadbeat Plax party with a Wimpy GIMPoshop.  Then I decided I was going to get drunk while watching a shitload of sports on Wednesday night to get some blog fodder and scrub the detritus from my already-off week.

Except I didn’t.  I wound up watching a bunch of Eugene Mirman videos while drinking/unwinding from work, then going to a good sports bar/bad restaurant, drinking a couple more beers while watching the first half of Celtics/Hornets, during which I took the following notes:

  • Hilton Armstrong looks like he could be Ron Artest’s son;
  • Kendrick Perkins needs to read goathair‘s hook shot post, because his form is often abysmal;
  • Two fouls on Chris Paul four minutes into the game at home = shocking and not good for N.O.;
  • Much like former Providence College scrub Leland Anderson, who my friend Chris and I nicknamed “Trainwreck” for his ball-handling “skills” (and who is apparently an aspiring professional wrestler), Hilton Armstrong should never be allowed to trigger the offense from the high post, ever, under any circumstances.  This is why Chris Paul getting two fouls four minutes into the game is bad; it allows Hilton Armstrong to be in a position to make decisions, which will result in him throwing the ball out of bounds at roughly 201 miles per hour;
  • David West = David Banner? I couldn’t figure out who the Hornets’ power forward looks like, so I threw down a name with a question mark.  My memory was wrong; see here and here for proof.  But still, I’m vexed that I know David West looks like someone, yet I can’t figure out who.  I’ve Googled it, but can’t find a consensus; DimeMag.com commenter “LakeShow84″ says he “looks like Columbus Short from Stomp The Yard,” which is false. Another commenter at DimeMag.com, which is apparently the home of  people who want to figure out who David West looks like (a.k.a. my new homepage 4 life), says he “looks like the persian general who gets his head cut off by the fat guy with knifes on his arms in the movie 300,” which may be true, but I’ve never seen 300, so that can’t be who I think he is.  And some commenter on http://www.moviesnaps-tv.net (which totally doesn’t sound like a real thing, which is why I’m not trying to link there) suggests that he looks like Master P, which, again, is false.  Any help in resolving this conundrum would be greatly appreciated.
  • Lando = Doom? The U.S. v. Mexico World Cup qualifier was on, and I kept thinking that Landon Donovan looks like Julian McMahon, the guy that played Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four movies.  This may not be true, but it also may not be false.  I award me one point.
  • Marks = BSkts? This, of course, is Sean Marks = Big Skeets.  I think I win this.
  • Paul Pierce is electric early (he wound up being that good throughout, scoring 30 on 19 shots in an 89-77 Celtics win);
  • Rajon Rondo giving up his dribble while being guarded by Big Skeets at the three-point line so he can get Ray Allen a contested 21-footer = NO;
  • Big Skeets getting alley-oops will always surprise me;
  • Which is worse: Rondo’s Rondo-fake into a stepback J/airball or anything Anderson Varejao on offense?

And that’s it.  My fiancee met me out at the bar, we had a drink, I suddenly got very tired, she ordered loaded nachos to go, we went home.  I worked from home yesterday and decided not to write anything; I’m working on a few things now, but nothing’s ready, and I kind of more wanted to use this morning to try to work through why I felt so disconnected from the Internet/had so much trouble getting my head on straight to post over the past few days.

I think I felt weird inside my own skin because my immediate reaction to not getting something substantial up on Tuesday was, “Fuck, I didn’t capitalize on whatever look-in audience might have come from FanHouse.”  Which was weird, because it was the second time in less than a week that I’d had a thought like that (check out the second-to-last paragraph in last week’s “Week in Review” post).  My follow-up in the internal dialogue was, “What the fuck do you care?  You’re just doing this thing for fun, right?”  And the inevitable answer was,  “Because I want to get more readers,” and the inevitable corollary to that is “Because I want this thing to get big,” and that’s when I started to get a little sick inside.

Doing this thing has been remarkably fun and rewarding, and I don’t want to psych myself out of doing it by thinking about it like a small business that’s competing in some kind of depressed sports-joke economy.  The only thing that’ll do is shut this shitshow down on the quick and drive me nuts.  So let’s take this back a step:

Hey there.  I’m Devine.  This is a place where I write dumb shit.  Thanks for reading.  Here’s an unintentionally funny photograph of Jorge Garbajosa and Andrea Bargnani trying to look tough in front of what appears to be a junior prom backdrop. I might write some stuff this weekend; I will definitely write something on Monday.  One post a day, every week day, to distract me and you from our jobs.  Sound fair to you?

As you slingshot into the weekend, do so thinking about the greatest pinball concept evarr

WANT.  (If you’re not familiar with Rollergames – and let me just say, boooooooooo unto you if that’s the case — you can get up to speed here.)  This + a “Wrestlefest” arcade cabinet + a bootleg DVD of WMAC Masters = a gloriously enjoyable part of my childhood that is probably best left forgotten.

The final week of the first month here at this is the city line. started with a sunshine-filled post about how most of the folks at your Super Bowl party were probably going to be jerkoff thieves (IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: “jerkoffs who steal your food and beer,” not “people who steal jerkoffs”), followed by an unfortunate period of radio silence (a span replete with “QUIT YR DAY JOB” internal discussions) and a discussion about things you could learn online (here’s one: people are sometimes kidding when they don’t seem to be).

From there, we celebrated the anniversary by thanking those who have made this site what it is (read: ME), took a (thankfully) blurry-and-coffee-cup-obscured look at my stupid ass face, engaged in what some might call “grasping at straws” and ran through the list of things I learned while attending my first live pro hoops game in God knows how long (and a special thanks to KPMD for heading out to the game with me — great, as always, to see him).  All in all, not a bad week in this little corner of the Internet.

On my second beer, relaxing a bit before I head out to the Cask ‘n Flagon to see my old roommate’s band play in a local showcase.  If you’re there, too, just scream out, “DEVINE, WHETHER IT WAS TECHNOLOGY’S FAULT OR NOT, YOU BLEW AN OPPORTUNITY TO VASTLY INCREASE THE REACH OF YOUR BLOG BY PARTICIPATING IN THE BALL DON’T LIE LIVE BLOG LAST NIGHT.”  That way, I’ll know you’re talking to me.

Have a wondrous weekend, gangsters.  Whatever you’re doing this weekend, be safe out there — and whatever you do, watch out for that rollergator (A TOTALLY REAL THING THAT SKATERS HAD TO AVOID)!

A look at the past week, coupled with a Mason-esque look toward the future

Cast your steely, forever confused gaze onward and upward.

Follow Anthony Mason's lead, dear friends: Cast your steely, sweat-dappled, eternally confused gaze forever onward and upward. Believe in your dreams.

Week 2 at this is the city line. is in the books, and while I think we can agree it lacked the splash of the inaugural campaign, we still covered some pretty fun ground in this little corner of the Web.

I waxed serious in a Giants post-mortem, welcomed everyone’s favorite third-person-speaking, slap-catch-makin’, totally-not-retired-at-the-age-of-50 leadoff hitter to baseball’s Valhalla, engaged in some meaningless slapdash posting, wrote a hack obit that got picked up by the good people at uber-local Boston destination Universal Hub, and solidified what I earnestly pray will be this site’s lasting reputation in the weeks, months and years to come — as a sports/joke destination for insatiable and uncompromising pedophiles.

Coming up next week: Who knows, really?  I’ve got a few ideas percolating that haven’t yet fully formed (two in particular: IDing fun guest hosts for Cafe Oakley and exploring the possibility that Marcin Gortat and Artie, The Strongest Man in the World have a deep connection that hasn’t really been adequately probed by mainstream outlets or Blogfrica) and I’m sure the boundless creativity of the fantastic people I read every day will spark me, too.  Need to hunker down this weekend and get my idiotthink on.

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit, read and/or respond.  It’s mindblowing that you do.  Now come back Monday, y’hear?  This place isn’t the same without you guys.  I miss you like I miss Freaks and Geeks.

P.S.: Please join me in pouring out some of whatever you’re drinking — OJ, coffee, Mad Dog, whatever — in memory of Upside and Motor, the fantastic site that introduced us to the estimable talents of one Rob Mahoney.  (Oh, crap.  Hot tea all over the floor.  Fiancee’s gonna be PISSED.)

If you’re following his work at Matt Moore’s hoop genius collective Hardwood Paroxysm, you know that Mahoney’s got serious skills; if you’re not, you should start.  I don’t know him well — we’ve exchanged pleasantries via Twitter, he’s congratulated me on my engagement and on Goat Deini’s sight-unseen portrait of me, and I’ve dug his work; that’s about it — but he strikes me as a good egg, so I’m glad he’s taking what he feels is a positive next step in the evolution of his writing and his personal brand.  I’m sad to see U&M go by the wayside, but I am supremely confident that his soon-to-be-unveiled project will be every bit the appointment-reading destination that his last one was.  Sláinte, guy.

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.