Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just Desserts


And to celebrate the fact that there is someone out there in the world who is a bigger sports fan jackass than I, I ate all four pounds of this dessert. And that's after my meal.

As I was putting the finishing touches on it, I said, "YEAH, DESSERT! YOU LIKE THAT? ALL DAY, BABY. MMMMMM. YOU GOT NOTHIN'! GO ME! YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT!"

And...scene.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Even That-er Than That Guy

I'm eating dinner and watching the Red Sox at the ESPN Zone in Chicago, and a 40-something year old White Sox fan and father just walked in and taunted two little kids wearing Cubs shirts as they sat innocently eating dinner with their family.

THAT-ER GUY: (menacingly to the children) Go White Sox!!! Yeah, that's right!

It's bad enough that a grown man felt the need to talk smack to children. But just to illustrate fully the superfluousness of his gesture, allow me to add some context.

The White Sox beat the Cubs in a heart breaker earlier today, 6-5, and yesterday they destroyed the Cubbies, 10-3, in the opener of their Windy City Series. Then throw in the fact that the White Sox recently won a World Series (2005) while it's been a hundred years since the Cubs last won it all (1908, in case you couldn't do the math), and you'd think a White Sox fan would just revel in his own fortune and not have to jeer at his rivals, right? Especially when his rivals ARE CHILDREN, FOR FUCK SAKE?!!!*

I couldn't help but give some mature advice to the dumbfounded kids as That-er Guy walked away with his unfortunate family.

THAT GUY: You could take him.

And...scene.

*I wanted to write, "Especially when his rivals ARE FUCKING CHILDREN?!!!" but it just looked wrong...especially in all caps...as it does here. Whoops.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Air Travel is for the Birds

This is what I look like at 8:58 AM when I've been at LaGuardia since 7 because I was too trusting (read "effin' stupid") to check the status of my United Airlines flight 835 to Chicago before leaving the comfort of my effin' bed. And now I'm on standby (read "no effin' chance of getting on") for a 10 AM, and I'm confirmed for a 1 PM.

I hate the morning, I hate airports more, and I hate waiting to get on a plane to go somewhere I don't want to go in the first place.

But at least it's not as bad as this movie...


...yet.

And...scene.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This Just In...

Jill actually got a movie quote!!! I couldn't believe it. Neither could she. She was so excited.

She had just finished making me a turkey burger. That's right. Sometimes she makes me turkey burgers. Deal with it.

Ryan: (brilliantly) "I know that dude. You used to work at All American Burger."

Jill: "Wait! I know that one. I know it. Sean Penn. Umm, Ridgeback. Ridgewood. Ridgefield. Ridgemont...Yeah, wait! "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"!

I ran into the office to blog about it, momentarily leaving the tasty burger on the kitchen counter.

Jill: (sadly) Don't you want your food?

I finished the above and immediately took a bite. It tastes even better now because my Jill knows an obscure "Fast Times" quote. Life is good.

And...scene.

All About the Beaches

Jill and I decided to call in sick to ourselves at our home office today and hit the beach. Long Beach, yo.

No, not Sublime's Long Beach.

I'm talkin' Billy Crystal's Long Beach.

Seriously hard core. Like Jill.

And if you're wondering what this hottie is doing with a goof like me...

So am I. But I'm not complaining!

And...scene.

Melted Ice Cream

The iScream Trek is not happening. I repeat, it is NOT happening. And it has nothing to do with my parole conditions. It's that the truck is a bit temperamental and probably wouldn't make it across the country. So it will be towed.

I'm pissed. I was so ready to crank the music and swear over the loudspeaker and pull the Eddie Murphy from "Delirious" by waiting for the kids to walk over and then speeding away and saying to Jill, "Watch how fast I make these muthafuckas run." Vrrrrrroooooooommmm.



I guess it's for the best.

And...scene.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Death of a Fuckin' Legend



The smartest and funniest vitriolic potty mouth ever to pick up a microphone has died. And he probably didn't give a flying fuck. I'll miss him.

And...scene.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Little League Redemption

This kid is a stud. I'm not just saying that because he is my little cousin (son of my cousin Mike), but because he earned a Little League playoff win by pitching three strong innings in relief.

Joseph (like how I blurred out the last name so the ladies don't stalk him?) came into the game in the 4th inning with his team down 5-2, and proceeded to shut 'em down for two innings while his team came back to tie it at 5. But something happened in the top of the 6th. Or, should I say, someONE happened.

With two outs, Joseph gave up a run without giving up a hit, unless you count an easy pop fly that the someONE in left field just watched as it fell to the ground. Okay, it was hit pretty high, and these kids are all just nine and ten years old, but COME ON! YOU GOTTA CATCH THAT, MORON! FUCKIN' CAN O' CORN! I didn't yell that at the kid, but I thought it very loudly. And then, as if to say, "You thought THAT was inept?! Watch THIS," on the very next pitch said left fielder let a line drive RIGHT TO HIM - a certain third out - go through his glove, allowing the would-be winning run to score. I desperately fought the "that guy" urge to say things like, "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, BUCKNER? GIVE ME THAT GLOVE SO I CAN GIVE IT TO SOMEONE WHO DESERVES IT!" and "IS THE OTHER TEAM FUCKING PAYING YOU? I'LL DOUBLE IT IF YOU'LL RUN AWAY FROM HOME, NEVER TO RETURN!" and - because my cousin was on the hook for the loss - "YOU'RE FUCKING WITH MY FAMILY, ASSHOLE!" I succeeded in keeping quiet, but again, I'm sure my supersonic hyper-critical thought waves were making dogs bark for miles.

(Honestly, the reason I get so amped up about this shit is that I know I made many, many mistakes as a kid, and it's painful to recall them when observing a child go through the same thing. Especially now that I don't make mistakes anymore.)

Mirabile dictu (means "amazing to relate" - Mr. Brennan, my high school Latin teacher would be proud!), Joseph's team came roaring back in the bottom of the 6th and final inning to win, 7-6, on a two-out, walkoff, bases-loaded single. Most exciting Little League game I've ever seen.

So Joseph got the win after all, and the whole team celebrated together. Not even the telepathically abused left fielder was left out. In fact, I don't think anyone on the team blamed him in the least for anything. On top of this, the losing team seemed to be entirely at peace with their tough loss as they all lined up to shake hands with the victors in a show of good sportsmanship. It was nice to see. And humbling.

I'm glad I didn't actually say aloud any of those things I was thinking in the heat of the moment. Not just because heckling a child like an asshole would have been intensely embarrassing for me and my family. But because I would never want to say anything to hurt any child, and that's the truth.

But maybe that would have changed if Joseph's team ended up losing.

And...scene.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just Say Yes to iScream

If someone asks you if you want to drive an ice cream truck from Boston to L.A. in less than five days, what do you say? Of course you always say yes. Unfortunately the license plate was not available yesterday or I would be blogging this on my iPhone from said ice cream truck. As it is, Jill and I may very likely be driving it back from L.A. in mid July. I will keep you posted.

And...scene.

*This is not the actual truck, but I bet it would look something like this. And no, it would not have had ice cream in it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"That Guy" Right at Home


Mere hours after the Celtics won it all, I'm buying the championship gear. It's sad, I know. I CAN'T HELP IT!!!!

And...scene.

Celebration Mullet



A callback to "Wig Night". Back at the Beantown. There is an entirely hammered and utterly towering Eastern European to my right (not pictured here) who came to our fine land in 2003 and takes total credit for the recent streak of Boston championships. I didn't want to disappoint him by telling him it had more to do with my intense cheering and impeccably demonstrative wardrobe. Instead, I let him try on the wig and kick it with the cute bartender (after making her try it on, of course).



And...scene.

Madness


Michael and I are walking from City Hall to the Garden and back, high-fiving and/or hugging everybody we meet (there are a lot, as you can see), while shouting "Whoo!" in many different inflections along the way. The up-ending "whoo" says, "Are you as excited as I am?" And the down-ending "whoo" says, "Hells yeah, bizzle! You knows it!"

I'm totally high-fived, hugged and whoo'ed out.

And...scene.

Waiting for the Parade


This is City Hall Plaza where the Celtics victory parade should end up in a couple of days. Wanted a good vantage point.

Also, it turns out my pimped out, "that guy", Celtics tuxedo is not a jinx after all. I'm so relieved I don't have to cut it to shreds now.

And...scene.

Champs!

Not a great shot, but this is the big screen I watched the game on. Here a blurry Celtics owner, Wyc Grousbeck, raises the championship trophy.

And...scene.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

iBlog...

...therefore iAm. Blogging from my iPhone tonight. Right now it's the 1st quarter of Game 6, and I'm in the b-ball promised land (Boston, of course) with my cousin, Mike. Hoping to take part in a 22-year buildup of championship celebratory madness. More later.

And...scene.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Wig (Out) Night"

I decided to go up to Boston to be with my family for a couple of days. The reason? I wanted to celebrate in Boston with my peeps if and when the Celtics clinched their first NBA Championship in 22 years. I will always be "that guy". And Jill will always be "that gal" as illustrated in this re-enactment of our phone conversation at 8pm as I was nearing my cousin's house in Roslindale (part of Boston...stay with me!):
That Gal: So what time is the game?

That Guy: It's at 9. And if we win, it will be our first championship since 1986!

That Gal: Okay, have fun. Go Pats!
Anyway, my cousin Mike and I went to watch the game at the Beantown Pub where his brother Sean (yes, also my cousin - that was an easy one) tends bar. And wouldn't you know it, it was Wig Night!!! I'm not kidding. I'm also not kidding when I tell you that I, with absolutely no prior knowledge of this event, actually brought a blond mullet wig with me from Brooklyn because you never know when you might need one. 100% true. Did I mention I'm a party catalyst?

Didn't need it, as it turned out, because Sean is the biggest black market silly wig supplier in New England. Who knew?

My first wig was a little too realistic as you can see.

In fact, the guy behind me came in as I was first trying to take the picture with no one else in the bathroom. I ruined the shot as I immediately put the iPhone down and tried to hide it as if my mom just busted me in the can with a Juggs magazine. (Sorry, no link - you're on your own.) When I realized I looked guilty, I tried to explain that I was merely trying to capture an image of myself with this crazy wig on. And you know what? I don't think he believed it was a wig since he just ignored me and nervously started to pee. He probably couldn't tell it wasn't really my hair because it's a really nice, $2,000 toupee that used to belong to the father of a friend of a friend of Sean's. Don't ask. And yeah, I took the picture anyway.

These next ones are decent look-alike attempts. Check it out. Here's what Sean normally looks like (he's always sitting on the floor and playing with tools when he's not behind the bar).



And with the wig he obviously looks like a younger, slightly thinner Jiminy Glick...



Mike (wearing my blond mullet) looks a bit like Billy Ray Cyrus after 16 beers and a bleach job...



And I look like Slash if he had a lot less money and style...



Why the men's room again? The lighting was much better.

And...scene.

P.S. Yes, I wore my fucking bad-luck Celtics tuxedo that I had formerly left on the floor of my closet. I totally screwed us!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Now THAT'S a Comeback!!!



Even Paul Pierce can't believe they did it! Four nights after losing a 24-point lead at home but holding on to win by six, the Celtics somehow not only erased a 24-point deficit to the Lakers in L.A. (Lethargy Area), but got the win, 97-91! Again, by six. Which only goes to show mathematically that if the Celtics are up by 24 or down by 24, they will end up winning the game by 1/4 of that difference. Does that make sense? No, but the fact that the C's are one game a way from championship number 17 certainly does!

If you're not "that guy", or just not a basketball fan, let me try to make sense of the meaning of this historic comeback. I don't know politics, but imagine if Gore, not Bush, actually won Florida in 2000. I know, I know, he did, but what if it were an overwhelming victory that could not have been doctored? Okay, this isn't a great example because I don't think the Lakers would have gone on to destroy our country after the game last night if they won. But you never know. Or let's say in the movie "Titanic" (not to be confused with the historical tragedy of the sinking of Titanic - even the credits say any similarities are purely coincidental) that somehow everyone was saved from the wreck and brought home by friendly extraterrestrials. Wait a second. All except the DiCaprio character who was taken aboard their craft for many anal probes over several millennia. I think that's closer.

And...scene.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shedding the Armor (Not "Armour", O Ye Pretentious Anglophiles)

My horoscope today says:

You should be bold to the point of obnoxiousness today - no one is going to mind. In fact, certain people have been waiting for you to speak up and show a bit of your true self. You have been hiding a very bright light deep inside of you, and you need to let it shine now. Why let yourself get all hung up on personal issues and worry that someone will not like you? You can't be everyone's friend - you can only be you, and let the chips fall where they may.

I didn't realize I'd been holding back so much. Okay, then. Here goes nothing...








I feel much better now.

And...scene.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gym Nauseum

Check out these nine gym sins on Newsweek when you get a chance. As in right effin' now. Seriously, what else are you doing? You're reading my crap, right? Might as well read something from a reputable source.

Now that you've read it (you have, right? If not, go back right now! Jill!), I guess it's a good time to ask if it's common practice, when asked to spot someone on a bench press, to tea bag him. Common courtesy, right?

And...scene.

A Clarification (But Not a Moment of Clarity)

Upon reading my last post, you might ask what the hell I was doing working as a glorified cheerleader for an Atlantic Division rival of my beloved Celtics anyway. You would not be out of line.

Let me simply say this...it is not "that guy" treason to receive a paycheck for performing these types of duties for a rival of your favorite team. You just cannot truly switch alliances, and I never did. One exception to this rule is that a Red Sox fan may never do any work in this capacity for the Yankees, nor may a Yankee fan do similarly for the Red Sox. And my secret for maintaining my native allegiances during Nets home games against Boston? I still implored the crowd to cheer for the Nets, but I was completely insincere.

And...scene.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thanks, George Vescey

You know those obnoxious guys at NBA arenas who yell and scream for the fans to "MAKE SOME NOOOOOOIIIIIIISSSSE!!!"? Well back in 2005, if you can believe it, I out-obnoxioused them all as on-court host of the New Jersey Nets. At least according to curmudgeonly George Vecsey, a journalistic combination of Statler and Waldorf:

Nets' Move to Brooklyn Is Truth in Advertising

I can't say I disagreed with his take entirely. But I was a little bummed that his article cost me my job. Especially when the "powers that be" (also read, "douchebag") told me before Game 3 between the Heat and Nets, with the Nets trailing 2-0 and looking awful, "Make sure you get this crowd going crazy...I want them on their feet and making noise from the minute they get to their seats. Let's blow the roof off this place!"

That would be no small task at Continental Airlines Arena, where seats are always available and the fans are notoriously apathetic (as a whole, not individually - don't kick my ass, you rarer-than-a-Sasquatch, die-hard Nets fan!) even in the playoffs. In fact, just before tipoff of the crucial final game of the season against the Washington Wizards, I implored the crowd from the court to make some noise, saying, "I can't hear you!" One of the Wizards responded with a sneer as I walked by their bench, "Neither can we." Ouch.

On this night however, as a direct result of the newfound energy in the arena, due in no small part to my party catalyst efforts, the Nets played their best, going to double overtime in dramatic fashion before finally succumbing to a far superior team.

So I did exactly what the Nets' marketing geniuses asked of me. They told me so after the game, and thanked me for my superlative efforts. But after reading Vecsey's article on Sunday before do-or-die Game 4 at the Meadowlands, they told me essentially to mellow out, tone down the act and "not be so loud". Funny, I thought the amplification settings on the PA system were responsible for the volume of my voice transmitted through the microphone. What was I thinking?

My point? Nets management completely changed their approach to their playoff presentation in a must-win home playoff game based on one obsolete sports journalist's opinion. Probably because it was voiced in the Sunday New York Times which had a circulation of 1.7 million. But still! Show some balls and stick to your guns! Typical marketing pussies. That's right, I dropped a p-bomb. I hope your delicate eyes can handle it.

I'm okay now, I swear. That was three years ago, and I'm very glad to not be doing that job anymore. They decided to go with someone else the following preseason after asking me to try to be a bit "hipper and cooler", which I think meant not as white and not as goofy.

What I have to show for my efforts (besides a NJ Nets shirt with "Flyin' Ryan" printed on the back) is this bit of worldwide publicity that makes me feel a bit silly, but also very proud.

"Another so-called improvement is making the joint noisier than a Nascar 500-miler. A hyperactive bloke named Flyin' Ryan, on some kind of salt-and-sugar overload or other chemical imbalance, screams into a hand-held microphone and dives chest first onto the court. Apparently, this assault on the senses is what sports fans want, in which case our society has only 15 minutes left, and there is no point in buying season tickets to anything."

And...scene.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Moment of Clarity

Here's an example of me being "that guy". The Celtics are up two games to none in a best of seven series against the favored Los Angeles Lakers, and I'm pissed at how they won last night to get here.

The Celtics allowed the Lakers to cut a deficit of 24 points with under 8 minutes (7:55, to be exact) left in the game, to 2 points with a little over 30 seconds (38.4, to be exact) remaining. And it wasn't like the C's were playing hard during that run. They just let the Lakers fire away from 3-point range with no defender within 20 feet of them, and guess what? They hit them! And on offense they were just kind of throwing the ball around to each other, hoping someone might at some point decide to score some points to stop the bleeding, and then taking and missing desperate shots like they were facing elimination in a game of H.O.R.S.E., or throwing the ball directly to someone in purple and gold.

And this was after we ( I, of course, use "we" when talking about my teams' accomplishments, and the third person when discussing their idiocy) had been completely dismantling and disheartening and straight-up dissing L.A., capped by a coast-to-coast, Cableguy-like yo mama dunk (1:48 into embedded vid) by formerly homeless Leon Powe.

So when Pierce fouled Kobe with under a minute (38.4 seconds, to be exact), and he hit both free throws - the Lakers only GOT 10 free throw attempts the entire game, and hit all ten - compared to 38 for the Celtics (who were definitely getting favorable calls and non-calls from the refs most of the game) - I naturally started screaming at the TV (which was only showing me the game because I found some old rabbit ears to get a signal because, of fucking course, the cable went out - tv, internet and phone, so convenient! - almost exactly at gametime).

Then it happened. Just before the Celtics went on to ice the game. I had a moment of clarity again. I somehow knew that I was taking this all too seriously, and that if I were to continue to invest this much energy and emotion into something so trivial and ultimately meaningless, I could possibly go over the edge. It was as if an Angel of Death were calling out to me to take it easy and focus on the truly meaningful things in life and just enjoy the ride before it is too late.

Or maybe it was Jill screaming at me from downstairs:

"RYAN!!!! I'M SLEEPING!!!!"

And...scene.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The [Blank]-gates I'd Like to See

Just wanna get a bit stupid here. "Get a bit stupid?" you say, with biting irony. Ha ha. Funny. I'll give you that. But I anticipated it and wrote it before you could outfunny me. So HA!

I know that frustration over the media's obsession with the "gate" suffix is as played out as...well...the media's obsession with the "gate" suffix, but please indulge me for just a moment. Here are some of the [Blank]-gates I'd like to see:

Lions-gate (or Lions Gate Gate) - When it is discovered that the Lions Gate film "Crash" - which won an Oscar for best picture in 2006 - was written by an 11-year old who thought it would be really, really hella cool if there were all these totally stereotypical characters with stereotypical problems in a movie whose plot consisted entirely of melodramatic coincidence and cheap surprise.

Gates-gate
- When it is discovered that Bill Gates has been profiting tremendously for so many years from covering up the fact that his products suck.

Reality-gate - When it is discovered that "reality television" is now and has always been about as "real" as the results of the 2000 election, the newsworthiness of Fox News and Stormy Daniels' boobs, eye color and on-camera orgasms, combined.

Call-gate - When it is discovered that the purpose of every bad call that ever went against the Patriots (i.e., AFC Divisional game against Denver in '05 and AFC Championship game against Indy in '06), the Red Sox (i.e., 1999 ALCS against the Yankees) and the Celtics (i.e., every game of this year's Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons in Detroit) was to prevent Boston from ruling the world.*

Star-gate - When it is discovered that celebrities are actually just human beings with very human failings and should never be put on any kind of pedestal (unless I get famous, then get me a really nice pedestal!), and that the people who utterly obsess about them every minute ("Leave Britney alone! [Sniffle, whine, sniffle]") are really soul-suckers from a distant planet called Mylifesuxsogimmeurs.

And, just for poops and chuckles:











Specter-gate - When it is discovered that Arlen Specter is responsible for all the bad calls that have ever gone against any Boston team.

And...scene.

* I know, I know. Beer has the same purpose for the Irish.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ain't Sports Fun?



Check it out! Video and everything. The Red Sox beat the devil out of the Rays, 7-1, sweeping them for the second time in a row (thanks for keeping first place warm for us, Tampa Bay!). During this game, (as shown above) (1) Coco Crisp pulled a "Matrix" on Jason Shields, (2) then countered with a right hook before being tackled by Dioner Navarro and (3 and 4) then bombarded with cheap shots by 'roid rager Jonny Gomes.

Ah, baseball fights. Like Catholic school girl fights...but with chaster uniforms.



And the Celtics continue to have success (amazing game tonight!) since I left my "that guy" gear on the floor of my closet two series ago. Paul Pierce pulled a Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddyshack" ("My arm! It's broken!"), supposedly spraining his right knee and (1) getting carried to the locker room by his teammates. But then (2) The Truth returned from the locker room with a huge ovation to drop successive 3-point bombs and (3) take it to the rack. Eventually Gino, the virtual victory cigar, was revealed as the C's took Game 1 of the Finals, 98-88.

And just for poops and chuckles, check out what I like to call the "YO MAMA" dunk, as demonstrated in Game 1 by "The Big Ticket", Kevin Garnett.

(1) YO...



and...wait for it, wait for it...

(2) MAMA!



OHHHHH!!!!! HOW'S THAT FEEL?! Seriously, Lakers and their fans, how does that feel to have yo mama brought into all this with such AUTHORITY! TASTE IT!

Yes, I am still pretty much "that guy". I am a meathead.

BUT I AM A VICTORIOUS MEATHEAD, BITCHES!!!*

And...scene.

* In case you didn't know, the all caps is me yelling really loud. Sorry, loudly.