Monday, June 26, 2006

This is Fun and I'm Bored

The Corkscrew Plancha (also known as "The Flying Corkscrew Plancha") is popular in the Mexican Lucha Libre style of wrestling. When a Lucha Libre performs this stunning move, he incredibly launches himself over the top rope, twisting perfectly, timing his body to hit his opponent at the point of maximum impact, or as it is referred to in the Industry... a daring "spot" with a big "bump" to recieve a huge "pop".

I don't know what an INVERTED flying corkscrew plancha would be, but I'm sure it would be DEADLY!


Check out my profile... my question. (Actually, I'm just testing) but really check it out.


Finally, I'm a blogger with Cleveland Sports Torture. Thank you Pucky for inviting me. I think you only did it once before, although you sent me a mean email that you've sent it to me numerous times.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vox in the Box (9)

Nine times. Niiiine times.
If Vox goes for 10, I may have to barf up a lung.
This column is brought to you by Ferris Bueller. One of the 100 movies on my list two weeks ago that cannot count Kevin Bacon as one of its cast members. That's right; and this may be the the most incredible stat Vox has ever uncovered-- Kevin Bacon does not appear in ANY of my Top 100 Films of All Time. Now, think about that:

1) I am a huge Kevin Bacon fan
2) Kevin Bacon has done a lot of movies, hence the game- Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

But there's no Chew Bacon cooking in My Top 100.
Amazing. In fairness to Kevin, The River Wild ranked in the nineties for quite awhile until just recently. The Woodsman is a well made film and maybe Bacon's finest hour; it comes in around 110 and might crack the sacred list if it fares well during the all-important second-viewing. And there's Bac's fantastic turn as Detective Sean Devine in Mystic River. But Mystic misses the mark because of Eastwood's heavy-handed direction. Oh, and of course-- the legendary HollowMan, which fronts as a sci-fi thriller, and then morphs into a soft porn/slasher flick. It does rule when Bacon is invisible, and the extra pounds on Liz Shue had me infatuated with this one-- but it was also recently axed from The Top 100. So no Kevin Bacon anywhere.

But did you know I am the Kevin Bacon of office jobs in Cleveland? You can have hours of fun playing Six Degrees of SamVox. Because I have worked for 2 Fortune 500 outfits (AwfulMax and a Bank That Shall Remain Nameless) with 2000+ employees, spent seven weeks at an ad agency and hacked around in a few chop shops-- well, I'm connected to just about everyone. Go ahead and try it, bra. The woman sitting near you probably worked with someone who worked with someone who worked with me.

Hurricanes and Heat...So the Stanley Cup and NBA title were won on back-to back nights. And I sat half-riveted in front of both, despite not really caring about Edmonton, Carolina, Dallas or Miami. OK, I won't go that far, I did place a $10 bet on the Heat to win in 6 games when they were down 0-1, and it paid five to one. But I've come to the point where just a little bit of action can't get me off anymore. What's an extra $50 in my account, when I know I'll blow that betting on Togo or stupid baseball parlays where I win the first two games and then lose the third a little bit after midnight EST because the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim still have Adam Kennedy mucking away at 2B?

The other half of me was begging The Goose to fall asleep so I could do the same. The Goose has seen a lot in her seven weeks on Planet Earth...a playoff buzzer beater by Amon Ones, a grey-haired American Idol, the birth of the Pitt/Jolie love-child, Big Ben crashing his bike, and the release of Jason Johnson-- former Barone Sanitation/ Kurcharski's Septic Service/ Management Said So/ State Romance, Tiger, Oriole, and Indian. I guess Goose just had to see Stan's Cup raised triumphantly in the air Monday night...then last night, a giddy David Stern called Miami's championship, "A team effort, and I do mean team" even though you had Shaq, GP, 'Zo and Walker basically admitting they signed with the Heat so they could ride Wayne Dwayne to the championship. (Remember when Antoine Walker, in his heyday, made those working-class commercials for Adidas where he'd say, "Employee No. 8, Antoine Walker, I make baskets." I used to crack up thinking that no team could win anything with Walker because he shoots literally every time he touches the ball. That was over ten years ago. It's 2006 and he got his ring, but I still haven't seem him pass.)

But, truth be told, Miami's championship has some meaning. There are only a handful of Virgin Pimps left, scattered throughout pro sports. Ten years ago, membership was booming. But after a nervous night in a Coventry bedroom on May 12, 2000, the first letter lost its storied significance, and I could no longer add or in shrine any more VPs. In the past half-decade, almost every Pimp has retired. So it looks like Gary "Glove" Payton will be the last of the Virgin Pimps to win a championship ring. (Unless, Potaps or Mateen Cleaves manages to get lucky. Or Shawon Dunston comes out of retirement as a utility guy to help the cash-strapped Tribe win it all.) What up GP? Saw you come off the bench cold and bust out that clutch J with the shot clock expiring to win Game 3.

Out of obligation, I'm gonna dust off my Top 10 Actresses. This was not an easy Random Top 10. But if I'm going to criticize Swerbs Blurbs, I know I better come strong with my own. Note
that, on my list, you won't find any second-rate TV jobbers, blockbuster blondes with mega-fame and no talent, or in-and-out of the industry, rich from syndication, waste of cans actresses. Like this guy Tony, who lived on my floor freshman year of college, Vox has "been real wichooo from the first day." And we won't stop. Coz we can't stop.

SamVox's Top 10 Actresses

1. Elizabeth Shue: Oh Liz, so selective about her roles. She's been around 20 years, but we've barely known her. If you want see a real transformation, watch Liz in Leaving Las Vegas. You get a serious drama and ammunition in a neat 112-minute package. And I won't even mention Karate Kid. They don't give her much to do in KK, but she makes the most of her screen time as the symbol for all of my fourth grade fantasies.

2. Kyra Sedgewick: Yes I know she's stars in The Closer. I've never watched it, but I know it sucks for 2 obvious reasons: 1) It's a cop show. 2) It's on TNT...AND they promote it, so you know it's especially bad. (And I cannot deal with Kyra being in the left hand corner of my TV screen during basketball games, lifting up the tape to inspect a fresh crime scene in one of those dork TNT promos.) But Mrs. Bacon is constantly redeemable in my book for her phenomenal turns in Singles, Born on the Fourth of July, and The Woodsman.

3. Annabella Sciorra: Vampire or victim, Sciorra will nail it. I still get chills from her role in the controversial Spike Lee Joint, Jungle Fever, as she effortlessly represented all Italian girls who who were sternly warned to never touch black dick. Two years later, she'd tangle with Rebecca DeMornay in Hand that Rocks, an entertaining thriller that hasn't held up, although Sciorra's performance has. And when we thought we'd played the never-see-you-again-game with Anabella, she makes her most gifted and tantalizing turn as Tony Soprano's crazy mistress.

4. Uma Thurman: The character I played, Raven McCoy, her background was she was raised by circus performers. So she grew up doing a knife act. According to the show, she was the deadliest woman in the world with a knife -- Mrs. Mia Wallace. And great roles in Jennifer Eight, Final Analysis and the immortal Beautiful Girls-- perhaps the Most Underrated Film of the 20th century.

5. Reese Witherspoon: Before the A-List, the annoying hype, the Oscar, Walk the Line, the wholesome-mother image, there was this little movie called Fear - panned by critics and fans alike- starring a nubile Reese "Rollercoaster" Witherspoon. Before that was 1994's indy chiller SFW. Throw in Freeway, also from the mid-90s, and you have a perfect Reese Trilogy. If you were a Reese fan then, you were in a pretty select group, and you know who you are.

6. Jennifer Anastassakis aka Jennifer Aniston. Every guy in America has ther own relationship with Jen Aniston. At one time in your life, something she did resonated with you. I'm no different. But as the man on her arm changed, so did mine and Jen's relationship. First, there was Tate Donovan-- after the bloated Ferris Beuller TV failure, but before Aniston was a household name. Then came the Friends explosion and her tryst with Adam Duritz. I liked the dark brown hair and the junk in the trunk, but not that 22-minute mainpulation sitcom which was unwatchable after 1.5 seasons. Sometime during her marriage to Brad Pitt, she easily eclipsed his acting talent and carved out her niche as a Top 10 Actress. It came out of nowhere, and even shocked me, but the The Good Girl is the undeniable proof. An independent film that even her die hard fans missed, GG was Jen as the anti Rachel Green, and I've rarely seen a more poignant performance. Now she's too thin, too tan, too blonde and in love again. But she's one of the most versatile actresses in America. Also check out: Rock Star, She's The One.

7. Ally Sheedy. I was addicted to her in the 80s, and she had a run of strangely brilliant roles in intriguing films. War Games, with Ferris, which still holds up. St. Elmo's Fire, fantastic film showing Sheedy's range-- going from reckless college girl to introspective adult. Short Circuit, not quite. That one was lame, but it gave us more of Sheedy plus the punchy El DeBarge single Who's Johny...and it marked the first occasion SamVox acted up in a movie theatre. Then there's Breakfast Club, of course, in which Sheedy virtually steals the movie despite not having any lines for the first hour. (Must break off a quote here. This would be my classic Ally Sheedy moment:)
Andrew: Parents?
Allison: Yeah
Andrew: What do they do to you?
Allison: (long, dramatic stare, fighting off tears) They ignore me

8. Amy Locane: Underused and under-appreciated, Locane does a lot with a little. Especially as a midwestern Lolita in the troubling and tumultuous Carried Away. She's bangs Dennis Hopper, and it's quite believable. School Ties features another nice subtle performance by Locane. And check her out opposite Johny Depp in the 1990 cult classic Cry Baby.

9. Lea Thompson: Miss Amanda Jones to me. The heart-wrenching, conflicted 80s popular girl in Some Kind of Wonderful. Lorraine Baines/McFly in the Back to the Future saga, which she never received enough credit for. And the taboo-for-the-times sex scene in All the Right Moves. Thompson had a perfect pouty lip and a talent for playing serious teenagers, but she even threw in a 1980s dud for good measure, Howard the Duck-- she sports an MMS Buzzard sticker on her backpack in that one.

10. That 14-year old girl from Shrunken Heads who won't put out. No, I mean Courtney Thorne-Smith. Haha. No, I really mean Nicole Kidman. Nowadays, she's too thin, too blonde and too pale. But I remember the curls, the jean jacket and her surprising fury in Days of Thunder, her inspirational career-making turn in the painfully honest My Life, and her deceptive and haunting presence as the doctor's coy wife in Eyes Wide Shut. But that's another column.

Before I check out, let me salute the IC Elephants-- they scored three unanswered goals to topple Serbia. See yall in 2010.

After three years of Civil War,
feuding factions began to talk
and the President called a truce
because the Ivory Coast just qualified
for their first ever World Cup.
And as everyone knows....
a country united
makes for better cheerleaders
than a country divided.
-- Bono

faraway, so close
up with the static
and the radio
with satellite television
you can go anywhere--
Miami, New Orleans,
London, Belfast and Berlin

I am your little MacPhisto in the box.

To Hell with the Devil, parting is inevitable.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Vox in the Box (8)

It's a simple thing--
just a ball and a goal...
But once every four years, that simple thing
drastically changes the world.
Closes the schools.
Closes the shops.
Closes the city.
Stops a War.
A simple ball fuels the passion and pride of nations;
Gives people everywhere something to hope for.
Gives countries respect where respect is in short supply.
And achieves more than the politicians ever could.
Once every four years, a ball does the impossible,
and if history means anything...
the world is about to change.
-- Bono

Don't worry, I'll try not to bore you with too much Cup chatter. I don't even like outdoor soccer. I didn't like playing it and I never watch MLS. I once enjoyed international matches, but defensive strategies (crowding the penalty box a la John Scramling) have ruined the artistry of the game. Nevertheless, the World Cup is the best sporting event thanks to soccer's standing as the world's most loved game, the event's global magnitude, the political implications on an international scale, fanatical fans, and the fact that every country but the U.S. considers a Cup game involving their country a national holiday. Even the U.S. doesn't shut down the country for the Superbowl or World Series. Still, you can bank on Uncle Sam making a quarter-final run-- as long as Kasey Keller is between the pipes. American goal-keeping can't be underestimated. And neither can the Ivory Coast; those cats are the Cup's darkhorse.

My first Cup was 1986 and I was enthralled with the way Diego Maradona dribbled his way through half of Europe, scored a goal with his fist, and then made two ridiculously long passes through German traffic to help Argentina win the tourney. Come 1990, the Germans, still bitter from their loss to Maradona in the '86 final, decided to play 5 defenders. Coach Scramling, of German dissent, actually went to that Cup and came back to South Euclid thinking the wheel had been reinvented and couldn't wait to add another defender to make the game less creative, and more disciplined. Yeah, the Germans play Futbol much like Lt. Tom 'Iceman' Kazanski pilots a fighter jet. Ice mistakes, They wear you down and after enough time, opponents get bored or frustrated and do something stupid. Then the Germans strike. They should make another nice run thanks to the home-field advantage, but an inexperienced offensive-minded coach and an injury to captain Michael Ballack means they are a third-place finish, at best.

I'm picking England as your World Cup Champion, although Paraguay may give them an early scare. The English are young and unflappable and have a very talented midfield, essential for establishing tempo and closing games in FIFA competition. The one-two punch of Beckham and Michael Owen will prove too much for any club to handle, as no country is striker-rich like England. It's difficult to pick against Italy and Brazil, so don't go betting money based on my opinions. Although, if you scroll down to Vox 5, I told you after the first round of the payoffs that Roit would not win the NBA championship. (Miami over Roit was my lock of the century...and it should've been a sweep, but Antoine "I Shoot, therefore I Am" Walker was determined to keep the Pistons in the series during Game 2.)

And speaking of DEEEETROIT BAS-KET-BALLLL, let's talk about their place in history. I think it's safe to assume the run of Billups-Wallace Bros.- Hamilton-Prince is over. They squeaked out a championship in '04 with a swarming, unprecedented brand of D under Larry Brown. But they've taken a step backwards with each subsequent season. Next year, they'll go down in the first or second round. The NBA's recent influx of superstar talent won't allow a team like the Pistons to grind their way to another title. So, these current Pistons have the very interesting distinction of just one championship, which brings me to this incredible statistic- since I've been following the NBGAY (1984), every championship team besides Roit has captured multiple titles. The 2004 Champion Pistons will go down as the only team in 20+ years not to win it again. And since 1980, the only championship team other than Roit to win it only once was the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers. Breaking it down:

Magic Johnson-Pat Riley Lakers: '80, 82, 85, 87,88
Larry Bird Celtics: '81, 84, 86
Isiah-Dumars-Chuck Daly Pistons: '88,89
Jordan-Pippen-Phil Jackson Bulls: '91,92,93, 96,97,98
Olajuwon-Tomjanovich Rockets: '94, 95
Tim Duncan-Popovich Spurs: '99, 03, 05
Shaq-Kobe-Phil Jackson Lakers: '00, 01, 02

Kids, you can't get stats like that on Sportscenter or from the mainstream media. We are working hard for you at Vox. And so are the editors at my favorite mag, Rolling Stone; this week they're running a story: How Bush Stole the 2004 Election. "Stole" is an understatement. I urge every American to read the article. It's a crime that Time and Newsweek didn't follow up on the larceny that occurred at the polls in Warren County, Ohio and some other election sites throughout our corrupt and bigoted state. There's a reason that the exit polls predicted an easy win for Kerry, and then suddenly everything went wrong in the next few hours. Read that article. Please. I'm still filled with rage from it. FUCK THE PRESIDENT. FUCK KEN BLACKWELL. FUCK THE SYSTEM AND OUR FUCKED UP STATE. Man, I hate writing in caps. Makes a person seem uneducated. But I was angry and it was a tension breaker. Had to be done. You never want to go into a Random Top 10 angry. If you're angry, don't make a Random Top 10. No, it won't be songs that Kevin and I sang together because we only had a few. And if you think that was the gayest thing ever, then you must've missed Hasselhoff crying when Taylor Hicks won AmIdol.

SamVox's Top 10 Tortured Geniuses:

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Motzart: The first rock star to flame out early; Wolfie died at 35 from too much partying. He revolutionized popular music, and then farted his talent and his money away on wine and women.
2. Bobby Fisher: True story: Before his championship match against Russian rival Boris Spassky, Fisher had an oral surgeon remove all of the fillings in his teeth, because he was convinced that the KGB had installed radio receivers in his head to brainwash him. His paranoia eventually led to his refusal to defend his title and then turn on his own religion and country.
3. Stu Ungar: Considered the greatest poker player ever. This New York Jew was banned from playing gin-rummy by the time he was 17 because he was unbeatable. Ungar won three World Series titles and blew almost everything he won on sports-gambling and cocaine. He died alone in a Las Vegas hotel room at the age of 45.
4. Srboljub "Stan" (The Magician) Stamenkovich. The Pizza Man did things on an indoor soccer field most watchers regarded as impossible, and dominated a game for the physically fit despite being grossly out of shape and overweight with his breathtaking ball-handling and intuition. Days before his 40th birthday, he slipped on a patch of ice and died after drinking all night in his pub in Yugoslavia.
5. William Butler Yeats. The incomparable Irish poet/playwright was as prolific and versatile as he was sometimes-deranged. Legend says he was transplanted with sex organs from a baboon to increase his vitality.
6. Jim Carroll. You already know from the movie he was a prep basketball star. You know he was a postmodern, mystical and descriptive anti-beat poet. You may even know he's a part time rock star who penned and performed the hit, People That Died. But did you know about Winky and Blinky? 5 minutes.
7. DeSagana Diop. I mean Jason Kapono. Funny, how one of those two will get a ring in a week or so. Diop will actually play meaningful minutes and be a force in limiting Shaq's production. But I like the Heat in 7 games. And I'll be rooting for them, too. For DA. Also, love to see Glove get that well-deserved ring. What up GP, saw you busting craps at Aladdin. Seriously, #7 is Hubie Brown. He invented Basketball, right? There's never been a smarter analyst in the history of pro sports. Hubie is a genius. The original Coach Brown. Now, he may not be tortured. But the make-up artist for ABC Sports probably is these days.
8. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Disillusioned American Jazz Age novelist who authored my favorite classic, The Great Gatsby. I view him as the first writer to really capture the corruption of the American Dream. Fitz suffered from depression, alcoholism and financial trouble due to his fast and reckless lifestyle. Then, he blamed his problems on his wife. That rules.
9. 2Pac Shakur. More than being the embodiment of thug life and a great rapper, Pac was an angry visionary. Actor. Activist. Street Prophet. He was a lot of things to a lot of people. To himself, he was his own worst enemy...unable to see past his own predicted death.
10. Jim Morrison. It's all already been said in some movie, magazine, book, blog, dorm room, term paper, VHI Storytellers, etc. He was the Lizard King. He could do anything.

oh tell me where your freedom lies
the streets are fields that never die
deliver me from
reeeeasons why

you'd rather cry; I'd rather fly

the crystal ship is being filled
a thousand girls, a thousand thrills
a million ways to spend
your time

when we get back, I'll drop a liiiiiiiine

I am Mr. Mojo Risin in the box.

La Corone de Pien!!!...Parting is inevitable.